You did it- you got a job interview! Interviews are likely your final step into the company you want to work for, and sometimes the most important. Interviews can be intimidating, especially nowadays when you might be doing them over video chat instead of in-person.
Got no clue how to get through one? We got you covered:
The interview usually starts before it even starts
Even before you step into your interview, the interview process has already started. You can expect your interviewer to have searched your name on Google, stalked your social media, and to have marked certain parts of your resume to talk to you about.
Be sure to do this vetting on your own before you even submit your application. Hop on incognito mode on your browser and try to see how people might see you on Google or social media to make sure everything aligns with the company’s ethics and values.
Research the company you’re interviewing for
Just like the interviewer, it’s key that you as an interviewee know about the company. Do the same thing that they plan to do with you — Google them, stalk their social media. Take notes on what the company is posting about the most. Is there something that they’re very proud of? Their product? Their customers? Perhaps a devotion to community service?
When they ultimately ask you why you want to work for them, you’ll have a good understanding of what they value most, and you can orient your response accordingly
What to bring
Yourself, duh! But also, copies of your resume. If this is an in-person interview, you might have multiple interviewers/a panel of interviewers. Bringing copies of your resume doesn’t just make sure that everyone can have their copy to look back at or make notes on, it shows that you’re prepared and organized- something that they’ll likely remember.
The same applies to your portfolio if you have one. For most creative or content creating jobs, a portfolio or samples of work show what you’re capable of.
Also, interviews go both ways. After the interview, make sure you interview them back a little. Come prepared with questions, a notepad and a pen. Take notes during your conversation if it’s appropriate. If you need to follow up on something, jot it down so you can come back to it
Prepare an elevator pitch
You walk into an elevator and see the CEO of your dream company. There’s an opening at the company, and you only have this shot to say what you want to say to them. Do you know what to say? This is your elevator pitch.
Your elevator pitch should take about 30-60 seconds, according to Indeed. Essentially, you want to answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What do you want?
Start by introducing yourself — a kind greeting followed by your name, where you go to school and what you do now. Next, summarize what you do- are you a student? Do you work somewhere else? Are you working on a cool project related to the company? And lastly, what do you want? In the case of an interview, you want the job you’re interviewing for
Dress for the job
A full-fledged pantsuit is always stylish, but it’s not for every interview.
“Some jobs like STEM might even have you out on the field the first day, so you’d be better off wearing slacks and a good button-down,” said Tiffany Bitting, Associate Director of University Career Services (UCS).
It all depends on where you’re interviewing. Think about this: What would you wear to a company-run event or meeting if you got hired right where you were interviewed?
If you don’t have a professional wardrobe, UCS has its professional closet in their office where you can rent clothes for your interview.
Body language is everything
You’ve got the fit. You’re feeling cool and confident. You did the prep, and you know everything about the company you’re interviewing for. Now, let your mind and body do the rest.
According to Albert Mehrabian, in his book “Silent Messages”, about 55% of communication is through body language. This includes, but isn’t necessarily limited to, your posture, how you’re seated on your seat, eye contact, facial expressions, and the tone of your voice.
Before logging on to your Zoom interview or walking into your in-person interview, look in your video camera or mirror. Roll your shoulders back, relax your muscles, chin up. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
You got this.
Graphic by Juana Garcia