3 Interviewing Tips for Juniors and Seniors
May 22, 2013
•IADT General, Preparing for College, Career Tips & Resources
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Whether you are looking for an internship as a junior or are searching for a full-time job as a senior, you can expect the process to include an interview. The interview can directly impact whether or not you are selected for the position. Before you go, review these three tips on interviewing to sharpen your skills:
1. Prepare Beforehand
Just like you would for a class assignment, research the job opportunity and study the details. Learn about the company – what are their values, their goals and their incentives for employees? Knowing this information can make you a more appealing candidate, especially if you can argue that their goals match your individual goals. Furthermore, this research can provide insight into the work environment.
Steve McLellan, a careers adviser at Edinburgh Napier University, suggests that you should try to think of your interview as a performance. Establishing this mindset beforehand can allow you the opportunity to brainstorm potential interview questions and how you might answer them.
With these questions in mind, review your resume (or application). Know it well. As a junior or senior, it may be helpful to review your transcripts as well. Though many employers do not ask to see your official transcripts, they may want to know what kind of student you are. Draw on your experiences and strengths as a student.
If there are weaknesses in your application or your transcript, take the time beforehand to reflect on these issues. Have you learned from them? Did something positive come out of them? Doing this before your interview can allow you to easily answer questions during the interview without becoming flustered.
2. Practice Your First Impression
After brainstorming questions and answers, make sure you practice your first impression and oral skills at least once before your interview.
Tim Reed, a careers adviser at the University of Kent, says that “Three-quarters of interviews are failed within three minutes of entering the room. Interviewers are put off by weak handshakes, a lack of eye contact, poor body language, poor posture (slumped shoulders suggest a lack of confidence) and a grim demeanor.” Interviewers may make immediate judgments based on your appearance. Though based on the physical, these judgments are assumptions about your trustworthiness, likeability, competitiveness and professionalism. Interviewers may even make assumptions based on the way you speak.
Write down your questions and ask a friend to interview you. Though you may have worked the questions and answers out on your own, it is important to go through the process orally – without notes. Practice making eye contact and sitting upright. Practice shaking hands. Decide what you will wear in advance, making sure it is washed and ironed before your interview.
Remember that first impressions are incredibly important – you cannot take them back. Be prepared and you can be perceived as a young professional.
3. The Day Of
Be on time, if not early. Nerves and anxiety are common before interviews, but try to relax. Think positively and remember to smile. Remember that your interview is just as much for you as it is for the company.
Antonia Clark, a careers adviser at London South Bank University, recommends that you should never make the interviewer feel as though there company is “just one of many you are applying to. With competition for jobs at a premium, interviewees should ensure their answers to interview questions stand out. Each organization sees itself as unique and wishes to project its own identity…. Tailoring your replies in this way injects a personal touch that is convincing and brings results.”
The research you do beforehand can improve your answers and allow you to easily tailor them to questions during the interview. At the end, the interviewer will most likely ask you if you have any questions regarding the job opening or the company in general. Try to ask at least one question, even if it is only “What do you like about working for this company?”
Asking questions at the end can allow you to exit the interview confidently. Furthermore, taking these extra steps may have a lasting impact on the interviewer and can make you more memorable.
McNair Scholars Program presentation specialist, Kristin Farlow recommends following up after the interview if you do not receive an offer immediately. Whether you send an email or make a phone call, remember to thank them for the opportunity and for their time. Let them know you look forward to hearing more about the job opportunity. Remember to be professional.
Learn more about how you can develop your interviewing skills at Career Services. IADT’s Career Services can provide you with additional resources to help you prepare for interviews, navigating the job market and more.
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