As many students begin to transition from coursework to actual jobs, it’s important to go over the keys to job interviewing.
Career Development has an entire booklet that breaks down the minute strategies for successful job interviewing, but let’s summarize the info in a digestible way.
The key to preparing for an interview is to know yourself. Yes, that sounds pretty cliché, but many people do struggle with describing themselves.
Take the time to stop and think about your personal philosophies, skills and what your interests are. From there, you should be able to articulate an accurate description of yourself.
The more confident you become about who you are as a person, the easier it will be to talk during an interview. Interviewers are able to read the room when there is a lack of confidence.
It may also be helpful to set up a mock-interview so that you can practice typical interview exchanges. Record your voice and pay attention to any verbal habits that can be distracting.
Be mindful of your posture and facial expressions. If you sit there looking like you want to kill someone, that’s not going to do you any favors.
Eric Anderson, director of Career Development, shared insight on what students worry about the most when it comes to the interview process.
Anderson said, “One aspect of the interview process that some students overthink is worrying about sounding and looking nervous. Interviewers don’t expect students to be completely calm and polished during interviews; they know that most students are new to this.”
Something to be mindful of, though, is to not draw attention to the fact that you’re nervous.
After answering the interviewer’s questions, there’s usually time when the job applicant can ask their own questions. Definitely have some questions in mind that penetrate the daily operations of the company.
Great sample questions can be found on pg. 11 of the “How to Interview” booklet available for free in the Career Development office on the 2nd floor of Blackmore Library. It can also be found online.
There can actually be times when an interview reveals that the company isn’t a good match for you. In these scenarios, there’s nothing wrong with telling the interviewer that the company is not a good fit. If anything, the interviewer will respect you for being honest and respecting their time.
After the conclusion of an interview, it’s important to ask about next steps and when you can expect to be contacted. Leaving the building without answering these questions can make things stressful later on when you don’t know whether to follow up or move on to another job posting.
In the heat of an interview, it can be easy to forget some of the elements that were discussed above. But, forgetting is not the end of the world. Panic and stress do nothing when the interview is already in the past.
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