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How to Prepare for Interviews

Preparation leads to effective interviewing. Effective interviewing leads to a job offer. You do the math.  Here are some tips to assist with your preparation.

Attend an interviewing workshop
If you have never interviewed before, attending a workshop will help clue you in to the finer points of interviewing and you'll be able to walk away with some great tips to help you put your best foot forward.

Do a Mock Interview
Practice makes perfect!  By doing a mock interview with one of our counselors or participating in our Mock Interview Days events, you'll be able to break the ice, get feedback on your interviewing strenghths and weaknesses, and learn tips on how to improve your intervieiwng skills.  This will also help build your confidence, and a strong display of confidence in interviewing is extremely important.

Know yourself!
Sounds simple, but remember the product you are selling is you, so you must know your product inside and out!  Be ready to sell your strengths through examples of your experiences, achievements, interests and abilities. Know what you are looking for in a position, in a company, in a organizational culture.  Give thought to what your goals for the future are and be ready to express them intelligently.

Know the Company
One of the biggest things employers look for is a candidate's interest in their company. Educating yourself on the company through research is the best way for you to convey your interest. This goes beyond surfing the first page or two of the Web site. Learn about their history, organizational makeup, clients, services, products, and recent news.  You never want to get caught unprepared by the question, "What do you know about our company?" Here what you should know about the company:

  • History of development products/services/markets
  • Market share/competitors
  • Company size
  • Recent changes within organization
  • Strategic plans
  • Financial status of company
  • Principal sites of the company
  • Overall reputation
  • Contributions to the industry or field
  • Career paths offered

Know the Position
You should have a general understanding of the position for which you are interviewing. Some job descriptions are shorter than others, but have a good idea of what they are looking for so you are able to sell yourself as it relates to the position.

Prepare Questions
Employers want to know you're interested in their company. A solid way to demonstrate this is to ask questions in the interview.  Prior to the interview, prepare a list of questions to ask employers, at least 15-20, that demonstrate your interest in the company and also give the employer an idea of what you're looking for in an organization. You won't have the time to ask all 15-20, but if you're able to ask 3-5 of them, that's great!  Always best to over prepare.