Ace the Interview
Dress to impress. Even if the position might allow casual clothing, always dress professionally and conservatively.
- Show confidence.
- Have a good firm handshake and smile.
- Speak clearly and in a friendly, and pleasant manner.
- Have a positive attitude; employers are looking for enthusiastic candidates who show genuine interest in their company and job opportunities.
- Maintain good eye contact.
- Remember that 90% of communication is non-verbal; so how you dress, how you stand, your tone of voice, eye contact, handshake, smile, level of enthusiasm, etc. are all important.
A great way to introduce yourself:
“Hi, my name is …. It’s very nice to meet you. I am a ____ (major) and I will be graduating in ____. I am very interested in positions with (company name) that will take advantage of my skills in ____, ____, and ____. Do you have any positions that are seeking someone with my background?”
Important tip, give the employer something unique that will separate you from other students. Don’t just say “I’m hard working and good with people.” These are skills employer’s value but they hear this a lot so you need to back them up with examples or go into at least a little more detail if you want the employers to give you credit for those skills.
After the introduction:
- Ask questions to show you are interested and demonstrate you have researched the employer and/or position. Cultures influence apostrophe
- Give examples of your skills, qualifications – be able to talk about what you have to offer them.
- Maintain your level of enthusiasm and interest – if the employer walks away from the conversation not sure of your interest, you have just lost your chance at an interview.
How to end your conversation and leave a positive lasting impression:
- Be sure to “close” the conversation strongly. Summarize your conversation by reinforcing what you’re seeking and what you have to offer.
- Tell them you are very interested in working for their organization and/or the position they are offering and let them know you would really appreciate the opportunity to interview for the position.
- Make sure you know what you need to do to apply.
- Ask for their business card so you can send them a thank you and follow up as needed.
- Offer another firm handshake and thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you.
Have a few copies of your resume with you. If for some reason the employer does not have the original you sent, you want to be able to hand them a new one that they can reference to.
Just as with your cover letter, do your research on the company. The interview will be an opportunity for you to expand on why you are interested in working for the company. Doing your research will help you be better prepared to answer if the interviewer asks why you want to work for the company.
Questions for your interviewer
One way to show your interest in the company and job position is to have some questions prepared to ask your interviewer.
- What have you enjoyed most about working here?
- What don't you like about working here and what would you change?
- Can you walk me through the typical day of someone in this role?
- How would you describe the company's culture?
- What's your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?
There are some topics that should wait until you have a second interview/final interview and you believe you might be offered the position. These questions should not be asked in a first interview because they can give the impression to the employer that you are less interested in the position and the work involved and more interested in a paycheck and time off.
- What are the benefits (salary, time off, etc.) for this position?
- Are there any opportunities for advancement and/or training?
- Inform them of prior engagements you have that you will need time off for.