Acing the Interview

With the term coming to a close, now’s the time that many of our students are looking forward to job interviews. Be it a summer internship or a full-time gig, interviews can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. There are many different styles of interviews, and every interviewer will be unique in how they talk and relate to candidates. Still, there are a few things you can do to prepare for any interview.

Compose a list of questions they might ask. You can find common interview questions online, draw on experiences from previous interviews, and ask friends and family about what they are asked in interviews.

Determine what a question is really asking. As you prepare your answers to common questions, ask yourself what the root is of each question. A question about a time you had a stressful situation at work might really be about learning how you handle stress generally.

Pick concrete examples from your experiences that highlight the skills about which they’re asking. If you’re asked about how you handle competing priorities, don’t just tell them. Give an example of a time you handled competing priorities and go through the steps you used to balance them. Process matters a lot in interviews so interviewers can get an idea of how you operate, so always show your work.

Read through the job posting with a fine-toothed comb. For every skill or competency they ask for in the job posting, have a concrete example ready of a time you have used that skill. If you don’t have a concrete example, do some research about that skill and discuss what you know about it.

Practice, practice, practice. Read your answers aloud to yourself multiple times, ask friends and family to interview you, even try putting on the same clothes you will wear and practice in that. Become comfortable with what you are going to say and do.

Image source here.

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