You get the email or call you’ve been waiting for. You got an interview! Now what?!
For many students the request for an interview can invoke both excitement and stress. This may be your first time in a professional interview setting. Have no fear! The Center for Career Development is here to help!
Follow these key tips when preparing for an interview:
- Do your research! You must be prepared to articulate why you are interested in the industry, company, and role. In order to do that effectively, you should research as much as you can ahead of time. Spend time on the company’s website, look for articles / press releases on the organization, reach out to prior interns to talk to them about their experience. Gather as much information as you can so you’re able to demonstrate your knowledge of who they are, what they do and why you want to be a part of it.
- Prepare your elevator pitch. Many times an employer’s first question may be “Tell me about yourself.” You need to have that answer ready to go. Tailor your response to your audience. What would that particular employer be most interested in hearing about? Discuss your background, experience, skills and why this role is the next natural step for you. The Center for Career Development can help you craft your elevator pitch. Stop in during drop ins or schedule an appointment.
- Prepare and practice examples to highlight your skills. Take a critical look at the job / internship posting. What skills / abilities do they seem to be looking for? Then, identify examples from past experiences that demonstrate you possess those skills / abilities. Draw on all experiences! Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your examples.
- Practice, Practice, Practice! Interviewing is a skill. The more practice the better! Use the Center for Career Development to help you prepare so you can wow those employers! We offer interview prep strategy sessions and mock interviews.
Our Interviewing Skills handout will provide more details and sample interview questions that you can use as you prepare. As soon as you get that phone call / email, reach out to the Center for Career Development to schedule a mock interview or interview prep session. We can be reached at 508-793-3880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviewing doesn’t have to be stressful or scary….if you’re prepared!!
Written by Julie Draczynski
Associate Director, Center for Career Development