You’ve sent in your resume for a job or internship position, and you receive that beautiful call back. They’re interested in you and want to set up an interview. Instantly your stomach is filled with butterflies and you shakily set a date to meet your future boss. After you get off the phone, thoughts are running through your head and you’re starting to wonder where to even start. Sounds familiar, right? We all go through this routine. And the only way to stop those butterflies from taking over is to inform yourself on the proper way to come out shining during your interview!
- Know the basics! This means know the location of the interview, how long it takes to get there (including traffic), where to park and if it’ll cost. If you’re really freaking out over your journey to get there, do a test trail run. This will help you know where to go, what to do and help make the place become familiar. Also, bring multiple copies of your resume, and it couldn’t hurt to bring a reference list too! Put it in one of those nice portfolios or folders—this makes you look professional and well-put-together!
- Research the employer! You don’t want to walk in not knowing who you’re talking to and what they do. Become familiar with the employer’s products, services, financial situation, and their values. You can do this all through Google researching, reading some articles and becoming extremely familiar with the employer’s website. Just imagine you’re Facebook stalking someone and trying to get a sense of who they are.
- Practice! This might seem weird at first but practice your answers and what you can potentially say during your interview. This will help you from stuttering, saying those annoying “uhm” s, and having something to say instead of coming up with a half-cooked answer on the spot. It’ll also make you comfortable with yourself and help make the conversation flow. You can gain some practice by setting up a Mock Interview through the Career Center where you learn what you did awesome and what you can always work on!
- Ask questions yourself! This too might seem a little weird. Usually when you think of an interview you imagine the employer asking all the questions but it’s important for you to participate as well. Before when you did some research compile a list of questions you would like to ask. This makes you look interested and eager to learn about the company and the people!
- Wear something nice! Ladies, this doesn’t mean your prom dress and guys, this doesn’t mean a tux. Invest in a business suit that makes you look great. If you’re on a budget, check out consignment shops or borrow from a friend—but make sure that whatever you choose fits well and looks professional! Chances are, you’ll wear it again for big meetings and future interviews.
- Be yourself! This might seem like the oldest and cheesiest advice but it’s true. Know yourself and what you want from the job/employer. What kind of position do you want? What can you bring to the table? How has your education and your experiences made you into the person you are today? Make sure you can state your career focus and objective (I want to obtain a job/internships in the ___ field or with ___ company to further my skills of _____). Let your personality shine and be comfortable with yourself.
Some additional tips for interviewing: Make eye contact but don’t have a staring contest, smile, have good posture, and don’t come off as over-confident or pushy.
If you would like to learn more, check out our Interview Preparation or Informational Interviewing Handout on our website (http://www.towson.edu/careercenter/students/skills/networking.asp). You can always stop by the Career Center and ask for help!
Career Peer Advisor
The Career Center