So you’ve found a great job opportunity. You applied and were invited in for an interview. Nerve racking, right?
Jessica Castellanos, a career advisor at the Career Development Center, gives some tips on how to have a successful interview, which are included below.
Some basic tips include looking professional during an interview by keeping eye contact, sitting in an upright posture, and dressing business-casual. Try to avoid saying filler words, such as “um,” and be confident in your speech. This will show your potential future boss that you are serious about getting the job and that you will act professionally in your career.
You should also bring your resume so the interviewer can have it front of them as you meet.
Before going to the interview, have a basic knowledge about the company you are working for. Know what kinds of skill sets the company is looking for and shape your resume and your responses to questions around these skill sets. Every job has requirements and responsibilities and you must know whether you are able to match demands before you go in for an interview. If you do match the skills, make sure to highlight your strengths and be honest about your weaknesses in these areas.
There are many questions that the interviewer may ask you. One of them could be: what are your major strengths and weaknesses? For this question, have at least three strengths in mind and think of how to turn your weaknesses into a strength. Explain how your weaknesses have helped you to grow as a person.
Another question: what recent accomplishment are you most proud of? For this, think of tests or projects that you worked hard to complete, but were able to push through. This shows perseverance as well as creative thinking in some cases.
Yet another question: what kinds of decisions are most difficult for you? The answer to this could be decisions about what major to study or what career field to pursue.
One last potential question that could be asked: how have you handled criticism in the past? Be honest if you did not handle it well, but explain how you learned from the situation and how you will handle it better in the future.
When asking these questions, the interviewer has one simple question on their mind: why should I hire you instead of anyone else? The interviewer might not ask this question forthright, but they will be asking it in the back of their head. Throughout the interview, think of qualities that make you unique, including your experiences and qualifications. Recall experiences with jobs or volunteer work in which you had to work as a team or held a position of leadership. These experiences will help you to stand out. Ultimately, know the reason why you would like to work for this company and make that reason known to them.
Now you know how to prepare for an interview, so that when you walk in to meet with your potential future boss, you’ll walk in with confidence. If you have any questions about interviewing or want to practice a mock interview, stop by the Career Development Center on the 2nd floor of the CSU.