An interview is a conversation that allows you to highlight your skills, knowledge, and experience and share your story with regards to how you might fit within the organization's culture. A successful interview is highly dependent upon preparation! Follow the steps below to maximize your opportunity.
Before The Interview
- Research the career industry and organization. Lack of knowledge of the field or organization are regularly cited as a reason candidates do not advance in interviews. To stand out amongst the less-prepared candidates, you should first utilize resources such as Vault, Wetfeet, Linkedln, trade or business publications for an overview of the organization and industry. Be sure to check recent news headlines about the company and read recent press release for insights. You should also perform a detailed review of the organizations website. Reach out to alumni or individuals in your network who are familiar with the organization to better understand their culture.
- Review your career competencies. Your resume is often a source of interview questions. Be able to expand on each item on your resume and connect your experiences to the job/organization. Make sure to analyze the job description and outline any tasks you will be responsible for along with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to carry out your duties. Understanding where the position fits within the structure of the organization is critical. Our Pre-Interview Worksheet can guide you through this process!
- Practice and prepare. Meet with a Greene Center counselor for a mock interview. Most interviews involve a combination of resume-based behavioral questions. Practice telling your story and prepare responses for commonly asked questions. Know your way to the interview location and arrive at least 10 minutes early. You should confirm things like time and location in advance. Be sure to dress professionally.
During The Interview
- Bring copies of your application materials (resume, cover letter, etc)
- Have a positive attitude and be aware of non-verbal contact (eye contact, posture, hand gestures, facial expressions)
- Be professional: greet the interviewer with a handshake and treat every interaction as part of the interview
- Listen, be attentive, and communicate your excitement for the position
- Ask clarifying questions and develop a rapport with the interviewer
- Be genuine and flexible so you are not flustered by unanticipated questions or come off as overly scripted
- Offer targeted and descriptive answers
- Wait to discuss salary and benefits until after you receive an offer
- Gather business cards from your interviewers or take note of the correct spelling of their name
After The Interview
Be sure to follow up with a thank-you email within 24 hours to all of those with whom you met. Notes should personalize your experience, reiterate your qualifications, and declare an interest in the next stages of the selection process. You should also perform a post-interview analysis. Take note of positive experiences and any areas you might want to improve upon.