5 Things You Need to Do Before a Job Interview

Congratulations! You’re one of the few people who actually got a call back. Unfortunately, there are still a few hoops you have to jump through to get the position. Luckily for you, I have 5 things that you can do to make yourself more memorable in a job interview.

1. Research the Company

This is a must. Nothing will get you kicked out of the application pool than the question “What does your company?” Whether you’re at a job fair or in the actual interview, it’s expected that you know at least what the company does or what it stands for. It’s also a benefit to you. The more you know about a company, the better you’ll be at answering and asking questions.

2. Research the Position

If you’ve applied for the position, then you probably know a thing or two about it. If you don’t and you’re hoping to find a job related to your major, you’re doing it wrong. Read the job description and responsibilities. This will be to your benefit. When processing resumes, many places have software that sorts resumes based on keywords. By doing this, you make it more likely that you’ll get an interview. This also helps in preparing for the interview.

3. Practice Interviewing

It doesn’t matter how good you are at being on the spot, you need to practice. If you are, then practicing will only make you better. If you aren’t, then practice, practice, practice. Many interviewers will take it as an insult if you come in unprepared. They’ll think you don’t care about the job and see it as a waste of time. I can’t talk about interviews and not talk about the STAR method. The STAR method is an awesome way at answering those pesky experiential questions. It gives you an outline which you can use for your story. S is for setting, which means the background. T is for task, which is what you had to do. A is for action, which is what you did to complete the task. And R is for result, which is what your action led to. In preparation of your interview, come up with 5 good STAR stories. You can practice by going to your school’s career center or by doing mock interviews with friends or family.

4. Come Up With Questions to Ask the Interviewer

At the end of every interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. If you say no, then you’ve just made a big mistake and you don’t deserve to get a callback. It may seem like something that’s there solely as a courtesy but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The questions you ask are what’s going to differentiate you from everybody else. You’re competing with people with similar degrees from similar programs and possibly similar extracurriculars and jobs. Giving good answers to a few questions isn’t enough to stick out in the crowd. Use the information you’ve gathered from your research to craft great questions. For example, ask how a recent piece of legislation or change in company policy has affected the interviewer’s job. Not only do you demonstrate knowledge about the industry and the company but you also refer to the interviewer personally.

5. Know How to Present Yourself

 

This is pretty simple but how you present yourself can be a dealbreaker. Dress for the job you want. Arrive 15 minutes early. You’re late if you arrive on time. Keep certain paperwork handy, such as, resumes, portfolio, whatever is asked for. Make eye contact. Practice your handshake. Be relaxed. Be professional.

Now go out there and get yourself that internship/job.

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