In the coming months, as hiring timelines progress, many students will be sending in applications for jobs and internships, while others will be starting the interviewing process. The interviewing process, whether virtual or in person can be stressful, especially when you do not know what the outcome will be right off the bat. However, there are actions you can take ahead of time to prepare yourself.
The checklist below should guide you through your preparation for the interview process and help you to land your dream job or internship. Make sure you begin preparing more than 24 hours before your interview.
Checklist to Follow:
Thoroughly research the organization and the people that are interviewing you. You want to leave the impression that you did your homework. Find out what the mission and values of the company are and whether they’ve been in the news lately. If you have anything in common with your interviewer, that could be an icebreaker.
Familiarize yourself with the interview logistics. If it is in person, take a trip to the interview location if you can and address parking and security protocols. Also be sure you have double-checked the date and time for the interview. If it’s a virtual interview, securing in advance a private space with a strong internet connection is critical!
Prepare and practice for your interview without over-rehearsing your answers. Review sample interview questions and plan out your responses to them. You may schedule a mock interview session in Handshake with your career coach at the BC Career Center or practice through Big Interview, a free online platform that allows you to record yourself answering questions that are tailored to specific industries, roles and skills. To access it, click on “register” in the top right corner and use your bc email address to create your account.
Plan your interview attire ahead of time. Ensure that your attire is pressed, any tears or rips fixed, hair is neat and shoes polished. If you do not have any “appropriate” interview attire, you may come to the BC Career Center Monday-Friday between 12-4pm and make use of the BC Career Closet. The Career Closet provides all students access to new and gently used professional attire for interviews, career fairs, networking events and the workplace.
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early in person or get situated in your private space. Be polite to everyone you meet and make eye contact. You’ll never know if that person is the final decision maker. If it’s a virtual interview, sit in a chair that doesn’t make you slouch. Beware of your background and the name that appears on your screen.
- Do not rely on your application (resume or cover letter) to do the selling. Communicate your skills and the value you bring.
- Avoid using space fillers (such as “like”, “Uh”, “you know”, “um”, “to be honest”), incorrect grammar, or slang.
- Turn off or mute your cell phone during your interview.
- Exude enthusiasm and confidence, but avoid coming across as arrogant.
- Answer questions thoroughly but do not be too brief or overly talkative. Avoid giving yes and no answers.
- Have intelligent questions to ask your interviewer(s) about the company and the job.
Finally, close the interview by reiterating your qualifications for the job. Remember to request for contact information of your interviewers, and write thank you notes to them within 24 hours after the interview.
Now go out there, and be great! You’ve got this!