Friday, April 10, 2015

Ace That Interview

You have worked very hard perfecting your resume and cover letter; and applying to various positions of interest, and now have managed to be invited for a few interviews! Congratulations, you have gotten half way through the process of finding a job.  Now it's time for your interview, and you are finding yourself extremely nervous to realize that the interview can either make you or break you in terms of being the successful candidate.  Have no fear; below are a few tips to help you ace that interview:

Before the Interview:

Dress to Impress:

Make your first impression, a lasting impression.  If you do not own any professional attire, it is definitely worth the investment to go shopping before your interview.  Remember, how you present yourself shows how you will represent the company.

Do Some Research:

Navigate the company website and familiarize yourself with the company history, mission statement, services or products they offer, etc.  Research the latest changes or updates in the organization to see where you would fit and what you can offer.     

Gather Your Materials:

Gather your updated resume, cover letter, reference list, portfolio, transcripts, or other materials related to the job which you are interviewing for.  Often times, there can be more than one interviewer present at the interview, therefore you should ensure you have more copies so that no one has to share.  

Practice Practice Practice:

Come up with a few typical interview questions, and practice answering them with a friend or parent.  To name a few, interviewers almost always ask questions related to problem solving, team work, and where you see yourself in 10 years.  The more you practice, the more confident you will feel.  Remember, practice makes perfect!

During the Interview: 

Remember Your Manners & Common Courtesy:

Greeting with "Sir" or "Ma'am" would be most appropriate.  Remember to always say "please" and "thank you". Although it can be quite intimidating, ensure you make eye contact; to prove that you are truly engaged with what the interviewers are saying.       

Appear Confident & Enthusiastic Yet Humble: 

Sit up straight and don't slouch.  You want to appear confident and hardworking, instead of insecure and lazy.   Have a genuine smile, and speak in an appropriate tone.  Allow your tone and body language show that you are enthusiastic about the position.  

Articulate Your Answers:

Being a student or recent graduate, you may or may not have many experiences to bring to the table.  Regardless of experience, you do have ambition, a fresh mind, and the willingness to work.  Prove this in the way that you articulate your answers.   

End with a Strong Statement:

Finish off with a statement which convinces the interviewers that you are indeed exited and interested in the position.  In your statement include why you would be the best candidate and what you would bring to the organization. 

After the Interview:

Follow-up Within 24 Hours:

Within 24 hours after your interview, email a thank you note to the interviewer, while the conversation is still fresh in both yours and interviewers' mind.  Again articulate why you should be the successful candidate based on your interview.  

Do you have an interview scheduled soon?  Feel free to come by the Academic Advising & Career Centre to book a Mock Interview appointment with an Employment Coach or Career Counselor.  For more interview tips, check out "The Interview" Tip Sheet.

For more information about the Academic Advising & Career Centre, visit our website.

Good luck with your job search!

Until next time,

Klarrissa Antony  

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