It’s spring quarter at DU, and that means summer is fast approaching. Some students will go abroad, take classes or start a career path with an internship. The competition for internships and jobs is heated. Here are some tips to interview flawlessly:
- Research the company, read their blogs, stalk their website. Use outside sources such as magazines or newspapers, review the company and any interviewers on LinkedIn.
- Stand up and sit down when the interviewer does. I made the mistake of standing up too fast before an interview was over and I awkwardly had to sit back down.
- Prepare at least 5 or 6 well thought out questions to ask at the end. Examples include what is the breakdown of tasks listed on the job requirements into percentages? This will inform you of what you will be doing every day. Ask the interviewer what they personally like about the company. When the interviewer answers, respond with a reassuring statement to reiterate how amazing you would be in this position. Most importantly, try and see if the company culture is a good fit for you! This is a place you are going to spend a lot of your time so you want to make sure it’s a mutual fit.
- Be on time. This means that the day before the interview, you should map out the route and plan ahead for any traffic, construction, or other delays.
- Be nice to whomever you interact with. It does make a difference if you are polite to the administrative assistant or even the doorman or janitor. The entire company is evaluating you even before you walk through the door so be careful what you do in the parking lot or while you approach the building.
- Ladies–carry a small purse/bag and bring a few copies of your resume, cover letter, questions you prepared, and application in a pad folio. Men–just the folio is OK. It’s a worthy investment and looks very professional.
- Look up the company on websites such as theglassdoor.com to be prepared for any questions the company fires at you. When asked questions, it is okay to take a second to think of an answer, but make sure to recall strengths or weaknesses and how you are working to improve them. Include situations where you excelled or ran into problems. Make sure to be brief but effective. Recall the situation, task and action you took, as well as the results or outcome. If you follow these guidelines, you should have no problem answering tough questions.
- Send a handwritten thank you note to all interviewers. Let them know you appreciate the time they took to interview you and mention something specific you learned from them. If necessary, jot down notes after the interview to help you remember.
- Finally, be yourself! It is nerve wracking meeting new people, especially professionals who could potentially be your colleagues, but don’t feel intimidated. It’s important for you to represent who you are because the calm version of yourself will be the one they want to hire, not the nervous one.
Charlotte Leston is currently a senior at Daniels College of Business and is on the Taylor Center Student Advisory Board.