5 Things To Do Before Walking Into an Interview

By: Rachael David, Director of PR

With career fairs, application deadlines and networkingoffice-1069207_1920
events filling up our calendars, it’s safe to say the job hunt is in full force for communications students. Whether you’re looking for a part-time job, internship or full-time position, chances are an in-person interview will be part of the process. Since this aspect of applying is one of the most nerve-wracking for many, we thought we’d provide a few helpful tips. Though there are many things that must be considered during the actual interview, there are also a few things you can do to prepare before the big day.

1. Print off your resume

If you got the interview, they already saw your resume and clearly liked what they saw – but that’s not where it ends. Most interviewers largely focus on the skills you listed on your resume when questioning you and want to hear why you feel they would be able to translate to the position for which you are applying. Having your resume in front of you will not only show you are prepared but will also allow you to pinpoint the area you are being asked about, which will, in turn, produce a better response.

2. Perfect your pitch

In other words, come up with a well-thought out response to the inevitable, “tell me about yourself.” Having a 30-second synopsis of who you are, what skills you have and why you feel they’d be able to benefit the company is absolutely essential if you want to make a good first impression. Whether you end up using it or not, it never hurts to have it ready.

3. Lay out your outfit

As much as we’d like to think no one judges a book by its cover, in the professional word, that little rule of thumb is just not true. The way you look and the clothes you wear will have a direct impact on the way you are perceived by potential employers whether you like it or not. It’s the first thing they see when you walk in their office, and if it’s not something they like, they may rule you out before you get the chance to shake their hand. Buy a nice suit and be sure to have it all ironed and ready to go the night before so all you have to worry about is putting it on come interview day.

4. Know your interviewer

Thought it will be perceived as creepy if you overdo it, the practice of social media stalking can seriously come in handy in times like these. If you’re being interviewed by any professional from a major company, chances are they are going to have a LinkedIn or some other public profile that lists their current position, past experiences and interests. It never hurts to look at this so you can get a feel for who will be interviewing you. They went to the same college as your dad? Great, mention it in the interview if you have a chance. Simple facts that are easy to find and could potentially help break the ice between you and your interviewer can be awesome opportunities to help you stand out in a crowd – or, in your case, a pool of applicants.

5. Research, research, research

We saved the best and most important for last. If there’s one piece of advice we’ve heard more than anything when preparing to speak with recruiters, it’s to know the company. Not just the name, but the services they offer, the top executives, their clients, their accomplishments and anything else that can be found by a quick browsing of their website. They make that information available for a reason and fully expect that anyone who is interested in working for them would take an effort to look. You don’t have to spend all night memorizing their mission statement (unless you want to – that would be pretty impressive) but you do have to know enough to be able to hold a conversation about the company and why you want to work there.

So next time you get the call that you’ve been selected for an interview, be sure to take a look at these five tips so you can start preparing as soon as possible. Best of luck in the job search!

 

Image credit: pixabay.com

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