Student Life

3-2-1 Interview Prep Check List

3-2-1 Interview Prep Check List

The end of an era (2018’s Fall Semester in this case) brings with it lots of changes. For me, this has entailed four interviews in the last 10 days on top of the all-too-relatable stress of finals season. After this whirlwind of a week, I decided to reflect on what things were most helpful to me while interviewing. These are the three things I suggest doing before you walk into your next interview!

  1.  Write down three questions. I still can not believe how many people leave without a single question about the job or what the work environment is like. I think the advice I hear the most is to ask questions during your interview and that should make a lot of sense! Not only should you be curious about the place you’re going to be spending a lot of time at, but it truly shows you’re invested in the position. For your questions, consider:

    • One question about the position: What is most challenging? What does a normal day look like? These are the questions you want to know before you accept an offer.

    • One about what they most want out of an applicant: Do your best to make sure their answer is apparent in your application. If it isn’t, aim to make sure it is at your next interview.

    • And lastly, one about the interviewer: Not only do people love talking about themselves but it also offers an opportunity to connect with your interviewer on a personal level. Best case scenario, this person is going to be your coworker or boss so knowing about who they are as an individual is vital.

    Other questions may come up and that’s awesome but in case they don't, be prepared with a few options you thought of beforehand.

  2. Look back over your resume. You should be able to speak to anything on there. Plus, examples that you can pull from past situations are going to be your best friend. Just take a minute to think back to what each position entailed, what you loved, what challenged you, and how that relates to what you're applying to. You can't predict every question but you can do your best to be prepared.

  3. Smile whole-heartedly. Before you enter any interview, try to think back to something funny your roommate said the other day or that dorky meme you saw this morning. Laugh a little and remind yourself that this position is something to be passionate about but that it also isn't the end of the world if it doesn't happen. Loosen up and do your best to think of the interview as an interesting conversation, not a test you have to ace. In the end interviewers are people too and not someone to be scared of.  You're going to do amazing.

Bonus: Drop by the bathroom and check the mirror. I once had an entire interview with an absurd amount of lipstick on my teeth and it remains that embarrassing moment I replay over in my head when I can't sleep at night. It takes two seconds to save yourself (and your interviewer who can't decide whether to tell you or not the whole time) from lunch’s leftover spinach stuck in your teeth.

So there you have it, a few of the most important things to keep in mind before you do a fabulous job at your next interview. Best of luck out there, folks!

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