How to prepare for a job interview

Olayinka Gbolahan
Staff Writer

As job fairs and employment opportunities are beginning to arise for internship seekers, part-time opportunities and careers after graduation. It is important to take note of these helpful tips on preparing for an interview from the Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Career Development Center.

A wise man once told me that “you don’t pass a final examination on the exam day but weeks ahead.” This is a phrase you need to take seriously and apply towards preparing for an interview, because as college students, we are all masters of procrastination in our own ways.

Before the interview, it is important to get to know the company. Most companies provide on their site easily available information on what they are about and how they operate. Doing quick research by looking on their LinkedIn profile in search of any connections you may have with an individual from the organization would do no harm.

Now that you are informed on the job’s requirements, it would be helpful to take a moment to evaluate your application and prepare your documents to suit the position available. Review your resume.

Nevertheless, it is not just enough to be prepared on paper, it is also important to be ready for any interview questions. Write down your answers for common questions, have someone ask them, read them out loud, conduct mirror practices and so on. As a reminder, the CDC conducts regular mock interviews.

Furthermore, now that you are well prepared, all you need to do is show up extra early in case you need to figure out company parking, get a great haircut, get your teeth whitened, dress for success and so on. 

During the interview, make the effort to be composed and polite, present an elevator pitch, be confident in your answer, be interactive and have fun.

After the interview, the work is not yet done, read the brochures handed to you if any, be patient and hopeful.

If you feel the company has forgotten about you, email or call the companies contact because companies tend to get overloaded with applications and an update reminder might just show a sign of determination. Also, prepare a thank you card, accept/decline offer and negotiate salary/benefits and if the interview doesn’t go your way, be encouraged because this experience can act as a well needed learning experience for better things in the future.

This is a lot of tips to take in but always remember that the MNSU Career Development Center is always there to guide you along the way. If at any point of the preparation process you might need assistance maybe with preparing your documents, presentation, mock interviews, inquires, any additional resources etc. – schedule an appointment or attend a walk-in session and I’m confident your needs will be met.

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