Preparation

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Congratulations — you received an interview! Interviewing can seem like an overwhelming process but preparing beforehand can help you feel more confident on the interview day. 


Know Yourself

  • Understanding your values, interests, personality, and skills will help you articulate your strengths to potential employers during the interview process.  Self reflection is an important first step in the interview preparation process.
  • Practice communicating your strengths concisely and clearly as they relate to the position, organization and industry. Review your experiences. Analyze your academic training, leadership experiences, critical thinking skills and non-academic activities in relationship to the position.
     

Research

  • Conduct thorough research on the organization and industry. Employers view knowledge of their organization as a critical factor in applicant evaluation because it demonstrates the candidate’s interest,enthusiasm, and seriousness about the position.
     

Practice

Dress for Success

  • What you wear conveys how important the position and the opportunity is to you. The primary goal in dressing for an interview is to feel good while projecting an image that matches the requirements of the position and organization. The professional standard is to wear a two-piece,matching suit in gray, navy, or black. 

  • However, the standards of dress may vary between industries and even companies. If are uncertain about attire, check with a Career Counselor or an alumnus at the organization.

Dress

Interview Like a Champion

  • In addition to researching the organization, practicing your responses, and dressing for success,  we suggest you:

    • Arrive 5-10 minutes early. Give yourself plenty of time for travel.

    • Map your route, parking, etc. in advance. Have the office phone number on hand in case you need to contact them.

    • Turn cell phone OFF (not on vibrate).

    • Bring a notepad, extra copies of your resume, a copy of your transcript and your project, design, art, or architecture portfolio when appropriate.

    • Build rapport with the interviewer(s) in the first five seconds. Greet the interviewer(s) with a smile, firm handshake, and make eye contact.

    • Remember brief silence is OK — if you are stumped by a question, take a moment to collect your thoughts. Asking for clarification (depending on the question) may also buy you some time and/or make it more clear.

    • Be prepared with thoughtful questions.

    • Close the interview reiterating your interest in the organization and the position. Understand the next steps and the timetable. You may have to ask for this information.

    • Ask for a business card in order to follow-up with a thank you note.

    • Remember, any interaction with the organization is a part of the decision-making process (information sessions, meeting the recruiter at a tailgate, pre-nights, and talking with greeters, receptionists, or office assistants).