Interview Tips and Tricks: Build confidence through preparation
As college students, one of the greatest sources of fear and uncertainty is the job or internship interview. Students often enter the setting lacking confidence because they are unprepared or under-prepared. Regardless of the circumstances, there are simple rules which can be followed to ensure that one will be portrayed as both impressive and knowledgeable when facing potential employers. Through steps such as researching the company/interviewer ahead of time, understanding what the interviewer could be looking for through answers, and preparing questions to ask at the end of the interview, a student can be equipped with vital tools to make a great impression.
One of the most important and most commonly overlooked step in preparing for your interview is doing preliminary research. You never want to go into an interview knowing nothing about the company or who you are going to be interviewing with. More often than not, employers will ask candidates what they know about the company or why they are attracted to that particular position within the company.
When asked this question, it is important to know at least the basic facts about when the company was founded, why it was founded, who the CEO or owner of the company is, and their main accomplishments over time. If one comes into the interview with no prior knowledge, the employer will most likely think the candidate is not that interested. Also, while this may not always be the case, if you know ahead of time who will be interviewing you, do some research on key topics such as who they are, what position they hold in the company, and how many years they have been with the company.
While every interview is different, there is almost always a certain type of response that the interviewer is looking for. It is important to assess what you think they are trying to learn about you through the particular questions. Employers try to either directly or indirectly examine how you handle pressure situations, manage conflict, how you bring new ideas to the table, etc. Try to consistently handle these questions truthfully and form your responses based on your past work/life experiences that touch on what they are trying to get you to portray. One helpful way to prepare for these questions beforehand is to search for commonly asked interview questions. Some companies publish their common questions online so individuals can prepare beforehand.
Ask your own questions
Making an employer feel as though you are genuinely interested in the job and the company you are interviewing with is important. One of the best ways to do this is to come with questions prepared to ask. Come with five or more prepared questions as some of the questions may be answered before you get the chance to ask. Make your questions meaningful and directly related to the company, the interviewer’s experiences with the company, or the job itself. Always ask more than one question, but avoid questions that are too personal and could make the interviewer uncomfortable.
These are simple steps that you can take to ensure that you confidently crush your interviews: preliminary research, anticipating questions, and preparing your own questions. It is not just about the actual time interviewing. It is just as important to prepare ahead of time to ensure that you make a good impression.