Six Quick Tips to Prepare for an interview
1. Research the Organization
Research the company’s size, location, culture, product line, history, top clients and top competitors. Use Vault, search engines, WarriorCareers, business articles or magazines.
Visit with employers at career expos and attend networking events to gain an extra edge and insight into the organization.
2. Prepare Questions & Responses
Prepare examples of previous experience (professional or personal) that demonstrate your strengths and highlight your competencies. Use the STAR method to structure your interview responses to common interview questions.
3. Practice Interviewing
Schedule a mock interview with one of career advisers or practice and record from home using WarriorCareers.
4. Dress Professionally
Different employers have different expectations for professional attire. It is better to dress more professionally than to be too casual.
5. Arrive Early
Arrive 10–15 minutes before the interview actually begins.
Bring along any necessary additional materials (your list of questions, paper, a pen, copies of your resume, transcripts, references, additional samples of your work, etc.).
6. Follow Up
Write a thank you note. Reinforce why you are a good fit, address any concerns or hesitations that arose, and emphasize that you are still interested in the position.
Commonly Asked Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you choose your major?
- How has what you learned in school prepared you for this position?
- What are your top three strengths?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- How do you think a friend, classmate or professor who knows you well would describe you?
- Why should I hire you?
- What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful in this job?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?
- What work environment are you most comfortable in?
- Tell me two or three accomplishments that have given you the most satisfaction. Why?
- Describe an ideal relationship between a supervisor and subordinates.
- Why did you decide to seek a position with our organization?
- What were the most important contributions you made in your last job?
- Telephone Interviews
Phone interviews are a key step in any job application process. In an effort to narrow down the number of candidates, a company will often do multiple rounds of phone interviews. You should follow the same preparation steps for a telephone interview as you would for a face-to-face one. Here are some at-home tips for these interviews:
- Print out your resume! Have that and a copy of the job description sitting in front of you.
- Make sure you are at a computer. Do not get distracted by it during the call, but have the company website pulled up so that you can quickly get a piece of information if needed.
- Give yourself plenty of time before your next appointment for the day. Plan at least 30 minutes for each one. You do have to lasts a long time that probably means you are doing a great job!
- Dress as if it were a face-to-face interview. Wearing at least business casual attire will give you the feel of an important interview and put you in the right mind-set to succeed.
- Smiling during your answers will give your voice a jolt of excitement and energy that can often be lost over the phone.
Once again, remember to send a thank you note to your interviewer and follow-up as needed.
When distance prohibits an in-person interview from taking place, Skype or other webcast interviews can be used instead. Here are a few tips to succeed:
- Make sure to check all of your settings before the interview starts. Try video calling a friend beforehand to make sure everything works properly.
- Suit up! Show the interviewer that you take the interview as seriously as you would if it were in person.
- Be conscious of your surroundings; make sure your location is quiet and appropriate. The backdrop of your video should not be distracting.
Same as telephone and in-person interviews, always send a thank-you note as a followup!
- Panel Interviews
- Direct your attention to each person on the panel. (Get each person’s name and ask for their business card). Look at each person as you introduce yourself and when you answer questions.
- Expect to repeat yourself simply because what is clear to one panel participant may need further clarification for another person. You may also find you are repeating information from earlier interviews.
- Find out who you’ll need to impress the most. Winning over the person most likely to reject you shows you have the ability to read the audience, as well as problem-solve on your feet.
- Be prepared for a least one “zinger question”. You can almost count on being asked a question that might not be asked of you in a 1:1 interview. Be prepared to answer numerous behavior-style questions.
- Thank all participants promptly at the conclusion of the interview and write thank you notes immediately. You have the advantage of having the interviews fresh in your mind, and will be appreciated for your promptness and attention to professional courtesy.
Once again, remember to send a note to your interviewer thanking them afterwards.
- Coffee Interviews
This is a way to meet a potential employee on a more casual basis to determine if there could be a role for the person in the company. For candidates, it’s a way to learn more about the company informally. Just coffee? Instead, it could be a step to a new job, so take time to prepare.
- Do your research on the company, mission, services and recent achievements.
- Be ready to talk about yourself and what you are looking for and how you can add value to the company.
- Ask questions about potential job openings, information, and career advice
- Dress is business-casual wear
- Bring several copies of your resume, a business card, and a list of references
- Have a pad of paper and pen to take notes
- Try not to order food
- Next step, reiterate your interest in moving forward in the hiring process
Once again, remember to send a thank you note to your interviewer afterwards.
Send a thank-you letter to each person who interviewed you. A thank-you letter should be sent within 48 hours of the interview.