By Kristin Soo Hoo, Treasurer
With summer just around the corner, many of you have already begun the tedious search for an internship or job. You’ve probably spent countless hours perfecting your résumé, crafting a personalized cover letter to each potential employer and nervously awaiting replies.
So what happens when you’ve finally been invited for an interview?
Before the interview:
Learn about the company’s history, values, scope of work, case studies, awards/successes and key employees. Identify how the organization differentiates itself in its industry. Then, skillfully tie this information into your interview responses.
- Remove inappropriate or unprofessional content from your social media profiles.
Employers need to trust their employees to represent the organization in a positive light. Many will turn down candidates because of inappropriate social media content like pictures of excessive partying or posts about participating in illegal activities.
- Assemble a portfolio for the interviewer to keep.
Insert copies of your cover letter, résumé and relevant work into a solid-colored folder. You can place the papers in sheet protectors to avoid hole-punching.
- Print business cards.
Use a pre-made design or create your own business cards on relatively sturdy cardstock. You can order them through an office supply store (Office Depot, Staples, etc.) or websites like vistaprint.com. Include your name, phone number, email address, home address and possibly social media links.
- Review common interview questions, and prepare answers.
There are only three true job interview questions, according to an article in Forbes:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you love the job?
- Can we tolerate working with you?
But here are more examples:
- Top 50 Job Interview Questions
- 5 Interview Questions You Should Always Prepare to Answer
- The 10 Most Common Job Interview Questions
- Conduct mock interviews.
They will allow you to assess and improve your verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Practicing will help reduce anxiety and discomfort during the actual interview as well.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
Potential delays include traffic, parking or finding the meeting location.
- Stand up and introduce yourself with a firm handshake.
- Think quickly, but feel free to pause for a moment to gather your thoughts.
- Support your answers with details and stories of personal experiences.
- Pay attention to body language.
- At the end of the interview, make sure to ask a few questions.
Write down questions beforehand, such as “what is your company’s corporate culture?” or “why did you choose to work here?”
- Send a handwritten thank you card.
Impress the interviewer by mailing a short handwritten thank you note. Employers appreciate the personal touch and thoughtfulness, so it will help you stand out.
Most importantly, remember to:
- Be confident
- Be yourself
Also, check out job interview do’s and don’ts for recent PR grads.
Question: What additional job interview tips would you like to share?