Review common interview questions and practice responses
This idea may seem silly especially if this isn’t your first rodeo. However, it can make all the difference. Anticipating questions and practicing your questions will help to generate a quick and sufficient response, which can help you stand out among the rest of the crop.
Study the company and the position
Educate yourself. There is nothing more off-putting than someone who strolls in without any idea of what they are getting themselves into. Understand how the company works, what they stand for and what you will be doing if you are hired.
Dress for the position
Believe it or not, not all interviews require business attire. Dress for the position you are applying for with the company in mind. If you’re trying to land a job in design at Cartoon Network you probably don’t need to show up in your best suit and tie just as if you’re applying for an on-air position at CNN, you won’t be wearing your Star Wars t-shirt under a blazer.
Beat the clock
(No, not at The O) Allow yourself ample time to get to your interview. Arriving early gives you time to find a place to park, locate the room you need to be in and take a deep breath before you enter. Don’t arrive too early because that may come off a little too eager or lead the interviewer to feel rushed to get to you. 10 minutes is recommended.
Speak to the receptionist
This is the first impression you will make. Say hello, smile, make pleasant conversation. Interacting well with others is a large part of any job position and how you treat the receptionist will show your true colors. You never know who can have an impact on your hiring.
Reflect on past experiences
When sharing information on accomplishments during former positions, don’t just say “it went well.” Explain how it went well, why it went well. Sharing scenarios of learning moments and how you showed your critical thinking skills or team building skills will give the interviewer a better understanding of how you work.
Bring work samples
Samples that go beyond resume bullet points, even if they aren’t required, are always good to have on hand. Digital portfolios are becoming more and more popular but hard copies can never go out of style. Evidence of the work you can do makes it easier for the interviewer to see your potential right then and there.
Turn the tables
Ask your own questions. This may be difficult for some of us but it can become easier once you do research on the company and position you are applying for. Questions can range anywhere from targeted to the company such as “I saw that you have launched a new project, how is that going over with the customers?” to an all-encompassing question like “What is a typical day like in this position?” Not asking questions may not seem like a big deal but can be interpreted as uninterested or unenthusiastic.
Be sure to send a thank you to your interviewer whether it be hand-written or via email. Today, this is expected. Not thanking the company for their time is a turn off. Typically, as things wind down, the interviewer will state a period of time they have set to get back to you with their decision. If this is the case, give it three days after the date specified before you reach out to the interviewer. If no date was specified, it is probably safe to reach out a week after the meeting was held.
When speaking to School of Comm professor, Jasmine Roberts, about what tips she finds most important to share with students she stated: “Just remember, at the end of the day this is just a conversation.” There is no need to be someone you’re not. Show them your brand. Show them that you’re the person they want. You’ve got this!