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An interview allows an employer to have a face to face conversation with you and gauge if they believe you would be a good fit for the position on paper. A resume only does so much to get you a position; an interview is where you really get to shine. Follow these steps to interview well and raise the likelihood of securing a position or internship.

  1. Dress to impress! Your appearance communicates a large message to your employer. If you show up in sweatpants and t-shirt, you’re communicating that this position is not very important to you. Dressing up communicates dedication and effort. Follow this link for more details on proper attire for both men and women.
  2. Do your research on the company and find out all you can about who they are and what they do (i.e., public versus private, information about their products and services, basic research on your interviewer via their LinkedIn profile, etc.).
  3. Be early, not on time. If your interview starts at 10AM, be there at 9:45 or 9:50. Do not show up at the exact time of your interview, as it may appear you’re rushing. Interviewers are also typically prepared to begin well before the scheduled time. Have a notepad and pen with you. This shows the interviewer you’re ready to learn as well. Don’t take notes during the interview, but at the end when it’s your turn to ask the interviewer questions.
  4. Make sure you know your interviewer’s name, first and last. Greet them professionally with a firm handshake, direct eye contact and a warm smile. Find the right balance between loose and professional. If your interviewer is a woman, make sure you shake her hand just as firmly as you would a male interviewer; do not give a woman a limp handshake in order to be “gentle.”
  5. Find balance. During your actual interview you don’t want to appear too laid back or too up tight. If the interviewer wants to talk about your recent vacation, for instance, say a few sentences about it. Don’t reject the topic to appear serious, but be brief.
  6. Exhibit good listening skills. When your interviewer asks you a question, listen attentively to ensure you answer it well. Asking for clarification is appreciated and is a good idea if you’re unsure how to answer.
  7. The interviewer will likely ask you about your experiences in previous companies. Do not bad mouth these workplaces or the people within them; this is a red flag to the interviewer. Likewise, don’t lie or exaggerate about your accomplishments; remain honest.
  8. Review typical interview questions asked and review them prior to interview. Practice answering the questions in front of a mirror. This practices maintaining eye contact and allows you to see what the interviewer will see. Doing so can help you adjust your facial expressions, posture, and things alike. Check out this link for commonly asked interview questions and proper responses.
  9. Wait for the employer to tell you about salary and benefits. Do not ask, especially in the first interview. Make sure you ask questions about the company; you’re also interviewing companies at this time as well. One of your questions should be your interviewer’s email (see tip 10). Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and your gratitude for the opportunity to do so.
  10. Although you may feel you are the one being interviewed, you, too, are interviewing positions to find a good fit. Interviewers find it commendable when candidates ask them questions following the interview. Asking questions displays your interest in the company and helps set you apart from other candidates. Check out this link for examples of good questions to ask an interviewer.
  11. Send a thank you email to the employer the same day you interviewed. This habit will drastically set you apart from other candidates, especially when an employer is working to decide between you and candidate B. Check out this link for sample thank you emails.

Check out these links for more tips on virtual and recorded interviews!