Preparing for an Interview
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Know Yourself and the Organization
Review the job description and identify transferable skills and experiences that meet the position's requirements. Prepare examples that demonstrate these skills. Learn about the organization by reading its website and related news articles. Note questions about the organization you may want to ask in your interview.
Anticipate the Questions You Might Be Asked
Interviewing is part art and part science. While each interview will likely be different in feel and content, there are many questions for which you can prepare. Consult this page on typical interview questions that you may be asked.
Choose your interview outfit carefully - remember, dress for the interview, not the job. Learn more...
- Arrive early; while sitting in the reception area, read any informational materials available (don't drink coffee).
- Be friendly to the receptionist who might be asked to give an opinion of you.
- Offer a firm handshake and make eye contact; both are important for creating a strong first impression.
Be concise. Do not rush your answers to the questions; allow time to think about your answer; if you don't have the answer, say you would like to think about it and get back to them. Include the answer in your thank you note.
Be confident in your presentation. Be genuine, be yourself, say what you believe.
Be sure to ask intelligent questions.
Prepare physically. Get a good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and don't drink too much coffee! During the interview, sit up straight and remember to breathe!
Use the interview experience to clarify your goals and interests. What did you learn about yourself and the company? What would you do differently next time? Without being overly critical of yourself, make note of this.
You should also plan to follow up with your interviewer. Within 24 hours, write a personal thank-you note including any information you want to add and reinforce your interest in the position.
If you have met with more than one interviewer, you do have to write to each one (be sure to get everyone's business cards). Learn more about thank you notes.