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Interview Tips

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It takes a lot of work in order to secure an interview. Now you have to be able to present yourself in person as the best person for the job. While this can be intimidating and overwhelming, there are some steps that you can take to make yourself as prepared as possible.

Most of the time, companies are using the interview to make a choice between candidates who look pretty even on paper (the resume). In the interview, the interviewers are generally going to focus on three main themes:

Can you do the job?
Will you do the job?
Do you fit in?

As the interviewer, you need to make sure you say enough to check these boxes. Most of the time, the third question cannot be controlled, as you might not know the other employees and the culture of the office.

However, you can make sure that you address the first two questions. “Can you do the job” refers to the skills that you possess, while “will you do the job” is focusing on your personality, responsibility and work ethic. It is important that you say enough to make the potential employer feel good about hiring you.

Here are some tips that can help:

Preparing for the Interview

  • Do your homework about the company with whom you are interviewing.
  • Practice your introduction and responses to common questions you anticipate.
  • Make notes of main points you want to make (such as your strengths and personal qualities) so you don’t forget to mention them.
  • Think of questions to ask the interviewer(s).

The Interview

  • Dress better than you would be expected to dress as an employee at the company for which you are interviewing.
  • Arrive on time. Do not be late, but also do not be more than 5-10 minutes early.
  • Stay positive, even if questions are negative or leading you to be negative (such as asking about your weaknesses, or why you left a prior job).
  • Don’t “just answer” the question. Be sure to make connections between your skills and the job for which you are interviewing.
  • Be sure to listen to the questions and make eye contact with the interviewer.
  • When you are asked if you have any questions, make sure to at least ask a couple of questions. If you don’t, you will not seem curious or interested.

After the Interview

  • Take some time to assess your performance. Write down some notes about what you did well and what you could have done better.
  • Write a follow-up note to express thanks for the interview, and to reassert your interest in the job.
  • If you haven’t heard anything in a reasonable amount of time, you can call or email the hiring manager about the status of the job.

The Advising and Career Services staff can help you prepare for an interview. If you need any assistance, please contact (501) 812-2220 or visit the Advising and Career Services Center.