Attending for an interview to a company means show casing your skills and talent like a presentation. Just as important, it is your chance to evaluate the company’s fit for you. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the interview and make a strong impression:
- Be ready to discuss your strengths, expertise and any experience that appears on your resume.
- Review what you know, such as the job description. Look online for websites, blogs and other online communities related to the group or position.
- Go prepared with 3 to 5 meaningful questions for your interviewers. Questions demonstrate your level of understanding, your interests and your passions—and help you learn about the company. So don’t hold back.
- Interviewing can be intense both physically and mentally. To be at your best on interview day, make sure you are well-rested.
- Be ready to show your thinking and explain how you came up with a solution to a technical issue, design question, or problem-solving puzzle.
- A few days before the interview, spend some time learning about the company’s mission, vision, values, business focus and culture. You can learn a lot about the company by visiting the company website and social media channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube & Glassdoor). While you’re there, make sure to follow the company on the social sites to stay connected.
- Be prepared to talk about yourself during the interview, highlighting your experiences, strengths, career aspirations and what makes you a strong candidate for the position and the company. Tactfully demonstrate what you have learned about the company from all of your research.
- Here are some questions to ask yourself before the interview:
- What are your short, mid and long-term career aspirations?
- Do you understand the position for which you are applying?
- What are your weaknesses and why? What are you actively doing to address these weaknesses?
Communicate during the interview why you are interested in the position and working for the company. Be prepared to ask questions. Remember, you are interviewing the team and company to assess how well it aligns with your career aspirations. Learning how the position aligns with your expectations, the culture within the team and organization, opportunities for long-term career growth and development opportunities will allow you to determine if the position is your top choice. Prepare between three to five questions to ask during the interview.
Practice! Think about the questions that are typically asked during an interview and how you would respond. If this is your first interview, have a friend ask you some questions and provide feedback.
How you follow up after an interview can help to distinguish you from the other applicants. At the end of the interview, do not forget to ask for a business card so you can send a thank-you email within 24 hours.
- Ensure that you have a quiet place with strong cell phone reception. Scheduling a conference room at a local library or hotel can provide a well-suited environment.
- Consider using a headset with your phone so that you can take notes and reduce the stress on your arm when holding the phone for an extended period.
- Before your interview, write down a list of attributes that you would like to communicate during this initial interview as well as questions that you would like to ask.
- Approximately 10 minutes before your interview set up your workspace. Consider having a pen, notepad, a glass of water, the list of attributes and questions and a copy of the job description for the position you are being interviewed. Phone interviews also provide the opportunity to for you to reference personal materials—have your resume handy and a list of accomplishments ready!
- If using a conference number, begin dialing in approximately one minute before your interview so that you are ready to start on time. Allot 10 to 15 minutes after the scheduled interview in case the interview goes passed the scheduled time, for summarizing your thoughts and recording questions you would like to ask during the next interview.