Tips for Preparing for an Interview
Every interview is a learning experience.
1. Do Your Homework
- o Research the organization - check out the web site
- o Know the organization's mission, market, products, etc.
- o Memorize some facts about the organization and be prepared to cite them during the interview
- o Talk to people who work or have worked at the organization
- o Hang around the building in the morning, noting how staff dress, as well as their body language
- o Know location and room number
- o Identify travel and parking
- o Know name of interviewer, title and telephone number
- o Go on a practice run for travel timing
- o Clothing neat, pressed and professional looking
- o Always err on the side of conservatism, even if the dress code is informal
- o Always look tidy
- o Make sure to have breath mints
- o Prepare answers to common questions the interviewer is likely to ask
- o Conduct a mock interview with a trusted person as practice
- o Prepare examples of when you've used skill relevant to the job
5. Secure Your References
- o Find at least three key people (former supervisor, colleagues, or instructor) who are willing to serve as your professional references and be sure to secure their permission beforehand
- o Make sure they will speak highly of you if contacted by a potential employer
- o Arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview
- o Visit the restroom and check your appearance in the mirror
- o Turn your cell phone off
- o Review your materials
- o Make a list of documents that you will need and make sure you have them with you in a folder
- o Documents may include extra copies of your resume, a driver's license, social security card, or portfolio of writing samples or other professional work
- o This is your chance to shine, so now is not the time to be humble.
- o Develop a 25-second sales pitch (a compelling overview that includes your strengths, your abilities, and what sets you uniquely apart from other applicants)
- o Based on your research, ask how the position you seek relates to the organization's goals and plans for the future
- o Send a hand written note thanking the interviewer for his/her time and consideration.
- o If you don't hear anything after a week or two, call to politely inquire when the final decision will be made.
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