6 Tips to Help You Ace the Interview and Secure the Job!

Congratulations, you’ve been offered an interview! But, now what??  Here are some tips to help you ace that interview and secure the job!

#1.  Research the organization – Research and find out as much as possible about the organization and the person or people conducting the interview.  That might mean using Google to read the organization’s mission and vision statements (hopefully you did this before applying for the position).  Doing so will give you an idea of that the company values and help you answer interview questions.  Another source of information would be to talk with people in your network who are current employees.  They can give you firsthand information about the company and the position that you’re interviewing for.  Don’t assume that you already know everything that there is to know about the company.

#2.  Practice interviewing– Practice, practice, practice! We’ve all heard the adage “Practice makes perfect” but this is indeed true with interviewing.  Although there’s no sure way to know exactly what questions will be asked during the actual interview, practicing common types of interview questions will help.  Common types of interview questions include behavior, situational or case interviews.  Behavior questions are used to inquire about your past behavior in a situation or when performing a task and can be used to predict future behavior to see if you’d perform the same way in the position you’re applying for.  Situation or case questions are used to see how you’d behave in a real or hypothetical situation.  Be prepared to introduce  yourself professionally, discuss your strengths, and weaknesses.  Provide examples of when you’ve demonstrated those strengths and be sure to discuss how you’ve taken steps to improve your weakness. Practice answering questions using the STAR method (S) situation and the (T) task you needed to complete. Describe the (A) action and the (R) result. Be brief in your description. Emphasize the results or what you learned. Don’t talk yourself out of an opportunity by giving bad examples such as “I’m a procrastinator”.  Avoid using fillers such as “um”, “like”, “you know”.

#3.  Prepare questions to ask during the interview – Have at least 2-3 questions prepared to ask the interviewer.  Most interviewers conclude the interview by asking if you have any questions for them.   This is your opportunity to ask the interviewer questions that you could not find the answer to prior to the interview.  Ask about company culture, job duties, expectations, projects, and any other aspect that will help you make a better decision about accepting or not accepting the job. You want to show interest and engage the interviewer in conversation.  Essentially, interviews are a conversation. Don’t expect to only answer questions! Be prepared to ask some as well!

#4.  Dress for Success It’s very important to groom before the interview, therefore shower and wash hair the morning of the interview.  Avoid flashy items (clothes or jewelry) that jingle, or dangle. Remove piercings that may cause an interviewer to judge you unfairly.  Avoid strong colognes and perfumes. Don’t underestimate the importance of professional attire.  It’s always better to be over dressed than under-dressed.

#5.  Plan to arrive early – Make sure you arrive 15 minutes early.  Allow yourself time to find the location of the interview and to become acclimated without feeling rushed. Don’t arrive late for the interview! Being late makes the wrong first impression!

#6. Smile – Show your pearly whites; smile and let your personality shine! Did you know that appropriate hand gestures (handshake), positive facial expressions (smiling), body language, and eye contact are all just as important as successfully answering interview questions? Smiling shows confidence, enthusiasm about the opportunity and helps to create a pleasant environment.   Don’t forget to smile!

Career Center staff can help you prepare for your upcoming interview.  Schedule a mock interview appointment  through Unify or use InterviewStream to virtually practice interviewing from the comforts of your home!  An advisor can review your virtual interview and provide feedback to assist you.

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