Before the Interview
Advance preparation is critical. The better you understand the company and its need the better you can indicate how your skills, experiences, and education are ideal for the position.
Know the Organization
Research mission, history, goals, customers, products, services and decision makers, and regional salaries. Search the employer’s website, the website of competitors, and other websites. Tools such as ONet and LinkedIn can be helpful.
Know the Position
What is the primary function of the position? What skills, experience, abilities, and education are needed?
Know the Questions
Review potential questions, write down answers, and practice answering the questions.
Know the Topics:
Brief yourself with related current events and social and ethical issues related to the field.
Know What Employers Want
Each year, NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, surveys employers to determine the top ten skills that employers seek.
What Do You Know About You?
Make a list of your relevant skills, abilities, and experiences and be ready to provide specific examples.
During the Interview
- Wear a suit
- Answer questions indicating how you will benefit the company rather than how the company will benefit you.
- Highlight achievements and discuss how your background, skills, experience, and education relate to the position.
- Carry a professional pad folio or portfolio and bring extra copies of your resume and references.
- Express enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Never make derogatory remarks about a present or former employer.
- Come prepared with a few professional questions to ask the interviewer—especially questions that demonstrate that you have a professional interest in the company.
- Ensure your questions to the interviewer are appropriate. (It is not appropriate to ask about salary, vacations, schedules, or benefits in a first interview.)
- Thank the interviewer at the conclusion of the interview. If you are interested in the position, tell the interviewer before you leave.
After the Interview
- What did you learn during the interview? Jot down notes to help you prepare for round 2.
- Send a written note thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to meet.
- Within several days, follow up to ask if any additional information is needed and to confirm your interest in the position. It is acceptable to ask about the estimated time frame for the interview process.
What you Need to Succeed in a Professional Interview
Click the Career Resource Guide image below to get detailed information on what you need to succeed in a professional interview including:
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