Academic and Career Advising

Sharpen Your Interview Skills

Writing you resume and cover letter are just the first step in the employment process. Now that you have landed the interview, it is important to prepare. Interviews are the most important, and often most stressful step in the whole process. Follow the advice below to improve your chances of success.

Before the Interview

Make sure you spend ample amounts of time getting to know the organization before you arrive for your interview. It is important to have a solid understanding of both the company and the position for which you are applying. Be prepared to answer questions about why you want the position, why you want to work for this specific company, and how you will benefit the organization. Start by researching the employer’s website, reading industry news, and contacting those in your network that could add valuable insight.

Not only should you know the organization, you also need to know yourself. Spend some time thinking about your past experience and how you can relate it to the job in question. Think about what types of questions you might be asked and how you will respond. You should also come up with a few questions to ask the interviewer(s). Try to think of questions that demonstrate your interest in the position or organization.

During the Interview

First impressions can play a big part in hiring decisions. Make sure to arrive in plenty of time and always be dressed appropriately. Appearing calm, confident and professional at this stage will go a long way with employers.

Similar to your resume and cover letter, the key to a great interview answer is specificity. Your answers should draw from previous experience that directly relates to the question at hand. Employers want to hear specific examples that demonstrate how your actions produced positive outcomes. Remember the S.T.A.R. method while preparing and answering interview questions:

Situation or
Task at hand
Action you took
Results achieved

Some other helpful interview tips to keep in mind:

  • Smile and make eye contact with everyone you come in contact with
  • Be clear and concise
  • Seem interested and alert – remember, body language can play a big part!
  • Be positive at all times – even when discussing previous employers

After the Interview

The process isn’t over once you leave the building. Follow up and thank-you notes are a lost art in the interviewing world. Never leave an interview without business cards or contact information for those you met. THANK YOU notes, emails, or messages should be sent out the same day as the interview, if possible. This is an easy way to make a positive, lasting impression with potential employers.

Additional Resources

Looking for more tips, mock-interviews, or on-campus recruiting opportunities?

Contact the Raj Soin College of Business Office of Career Management at rscob-careers@wright.edu or visit the Wright State University Career Center website for more information.

 


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