Interview Tips: Preparing for the Interview

row of seated people waiting for an interview

 

Post: Heather Wakely

Date: September 24, 2016

 

Congratulations you've got the interview!

You want to make the kind of impression that will get you the job. Follow our Practicum Coordinator's handy job interview list to prepare and win over your interviewer.

 

 

Before the Interview

Do your research
The best way to stand out in an interview is to demonstrate that you've done your research.   Review the organization's website, follow them on social media, read the LinkedIn profiles of their team members, etc.  This will ensure that your responses are aligned with what they’re seeking and will convince them of your work ethic and strong interest in the role.

Review the job description
Internship and job seekers often apply to several postings.  A thorough review of the posting will help you to anticipate the interview questions that they might ask and to ensure that you highlight the skills that matter most.

Review your resume:
Ensure that you are ready to tell your story. Go beyond stating what you wrote by describing why you made your previous education/career decisions and making connections between what you learned and the knowledge and experience they're seeking.        

Prepare your stories/examples:
Think about projects that you've managed, great teams that you've been a part of, challenges that you've overcome, and prepare to tell those stories.  Ensure that each story is complete yet succinct by providing the context, outlining the actions you took, and describing the successful outcome.  If you've followed tips #2 and #3, you can take your answer a step further by making a connection between the example you've provided and how you feel it has prepared you to be successful in the role.

Prepare your interview materials/attire
Dress formally and professionally.  Ensure that your attire (or your perfume/cologne!) won't distract from your message.  Consider bringing a portfolio of your work, copies of your resume, or a notepad so that you can take a few notes.

Prepare questions for them
Take advantage of this opportunity to gather insight that will help you to decide if it's the right role for you.  Perhaps even more importantly, take advantage of this opportunity to stand out by preparing a few thoughtful questions for them that couldn't be answered by visiting their website.

Practice
Ask a friend to help with a mock interview, videotape yourself, talk out loud, whatever you need to do.  This will help you to identify any stories/responses that need work, to recognize and eliminate any bad habits, and to ensure that you feel as relaxed and prepared as possible during the interview.

 

Read Heather's tips on what to do during and after your interview.