You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So, what’s the best way to prepare? You have labored for hours over your resume, sent it out, work long house with the hand of career services, and managed to line up some interviews. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much. You’re hopeful. You’re optimistic. And you might be having a panic attack. Fear not! These tips will help you handle those interviews with confidence.
1. Get Help (You’re not alone)
Make your career services center the first stop when you start preparing for job interviews. In this office, you’ll find career advisors who can give you tips on what to wear to an interview, what kinds of questions might be asked and how to prepare. These centers also offer mock interview sessions so you can practice answering questions and get a feel for how your interview will progress.
Extra tip: Career services centers can also provide interview etiquette tips and suggestions for how to end an interview and follow up with the company.
2. Come with your materials.
Bring along a copy of your resume, any letters of reference and any other type of material, such as a portfolio, appropriate for the job interview. You may not need these, but you’ll be prepared if you do. Also, don’t just bring one copy; often there will be several interviewers and you don’t want to have them share. You might have sent your resume by email, but emails are easily deleted. This is your best chance to get your resume in their hands, in front of their face and on their desk.
Extra tip: Make sure you double check your resume for grammar mistakes and typos before printing. Sometimes you can’t even see those until it’s too late.
3. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement
We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews. “Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”
4. Brainstorm 3 “PAR” Anecdotes
Your interview is as memorable as the stories you share. Many people have fascinating experiences but forget them when they’re on the spot. To remedy this, have three anecdotes ready to plug into your interview. Your anecdotes should follow a simple format:
- Problem – what was the situation?
- Action – what did you do to solve it?
- Result – what changed afterward?
With this format, you can adapt your PAR anecdotes to fit a variety of questions such as “tell me about a time you worked with a team” or “when have you struggled most?”
5. During the interview
Think Aloud on Analytical Questions
Some interviews include tough analytical questions. Whether you’re solving for an exact number (“what’s the EBITDA of Company X?”) or rough estimate, it’s important to talk through your thinking. Don’t just give an answer; show how you got there.
Ask Questions That Kill Two Birds in One Stone
At the end of your interview, it’ll be your turn to ask a few questions. This is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – that is, asking a genuine question while conveying something new about you. Most people just do the first part and forgo a final chance to impress the interviewer.
Grow A Backbone & Ask This Final Question
This one takes guts — and that’s why I love it. SpredFast Product Manager Luke Fernandez says it’s the “single piece of advice that has consistently made a difference.”
Before your interview ends, ask this one last question: “Have I said anything in this interview or given you any other reason to doubt that I am a good fit for the role?”
“It’s bold, but if delivered honestly, it displays true desire and confidence,” Luke said. “I’ve been commended for that specific question in interviews with Google, YouTube, BCG, Deloitte, Twitter, and SpredFast. In one situation, the interviewer actually said yes and gave me the chance to clarify something that would have otherwise lost me an offer.”
6. After the Interview
Email a Personalized Thank You Note
Thank your interviewer within 24 hours of finishing. It not only shows your gratitude, it also combats competition if you interviewed early. Not to mention, it opens the door for dialogue even if you don’t get the job. Sometimes, recruiters reach back out on the same email thread months later, mentioning new job opportunities.
Our career services department is always available to the students. They work tirelessly to provide the best opportunities for the graduates available in the current workforce.