The purpose of your resume is to get an interview. The purpose of an interview is to get an offer. Be prepared to rock your interview! Below is a breakdown of before, during and after activities to help your prepare.
Check out this Infographic for a visual tour of the interview process.
Take inventory of your skills, abilities and knowledge and how they will apply to the position you are interviewing for. This will help you to answer questions during your actual interview.
Study your Resume
Read through and think about all of your specific experiences and how you can talk about each one in relation to the position you are interviewing for.
Analyze the Position Description
Pay attention to the skills they are looking for and your experiences that match. Remember buzz words they have used and relate them back to your past experiences.
Research the Organization
Make sure you are very familiar with the organization you are interviewing with. Use company web sites, peers who have worked there, Alumni, articles etc. to gather information such as: size, products/services, current projects/initiatives, private vs public and benefits.
Now that you know more about the organization prepare a list of questions you can ask them in the interview. Write them down and take them along. Always ask 2-3 questions in your interview to show your interest and the research you have done.
Meet with an Internship office staff member to do a mock interview. Become familiar with interview questions and take the time to prepare answers to the most common.
Prepare your Clothing and Materials
Take inventory of your wardrobe. Dress professionally for your interview. Remember, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Take a portfolio to hold copies of your resume, references and cover letter. Don't forget to include your questions and a writing utencil.
Know Where You are Going
Take a test drive to the location of your interview so you are familiar with the drive ahead of time. Allow time for possible traffic. Arrive no more than 5-10 minutes early. Ask for clear instructions once you arrive at the interview site.
Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled interview. First impressions are key.
Be Aware of You Non Verbal Communication
Shake hands with a firm grip, sit tall, make eye contact and avoid fidgeting. Nonverbal communication is 65-70% of the impact of a message.
Listen carefully when the interviewer asks their question. Ask for clarification if necessary.
Even though you may be nervous you want the interviewer to see your true personality. Be yourself and be confident in your experiences.
Answer Questions Thoroughly
Be sure to answer each question honestly and conclude your answer clearly. Practicing questions ahead of time will help you avoid stumbling over answers and providing lengthy answers with no direction.
Be Proud of You Accomplishments
This is your opportunity to display what you can bring to the position and the experiences you have had in the past. Be proud of those events and allow your excitement for the position show.
The interviewer will know you have done your research if you ask educated questions about the position or the organization. Be prepared to ask questions during or at the end of your interview.
Express Your Interest at the Conclusion
At the conclusion of your interview thank everyone involved and reiterate your true interest in the position.
Review your Experience
Take a moment, after you have left your interview, to review the experience and how it went. Take a few notes after you leave to help remember your immediate thoughts and feelings
Send a Thank You
Thank yous are an absolute must after you interview. You can send a formal letter, a hand written letter or an email. Decide which method is best based on the culture of the company and how you interacted with them prior to your interview. Keep in mind the timeframe, if they will be making a quick decision email may be best. Send a seperate thank you to all of those involved in your interview. Send your thank you within 24 hours of your interview.
Follow Up, When Appropriate
If you were given a timeframe for a decision and have not heard anything past that time it would be appropriate to follow up with your contact to check on the status of the position.
To schedule an appointment contact the Internships and Careers Office 309-794-7339.