Having a meaningful summer job is probably on the top of your bucket list as a university student. But once you begin to reach the end of the academic year is, everyone around you will be applying for the same jobs as you. If you successfully cracked your way through the application process, you definitely want to rock that job interview.
Here are some tips we’ve broken down from Trish Murray-Zelmer, employment and financial aid coordinator of St. Thomas University to ace any interview.
First things first
The second after you get off the phone with your potential employer, research is the first thing you should do. Since you are trying to show interest in the organization, you need to be able to back it up by knowing the organizations’ basic information by heart. It is important to know what the organization is, what it does, its missions and its values.
Then you need to analyze the job description and identify the key responsibilities of the job. The Internet is the first and easiest resource you can use to gather that kind information.
There are always a couple job interview questions that most employers ask. Preparing responses for those questions is your key to success. Your answer should be concise but straight forward. You should be able to back up the statements with examples of your former work or life experiences.
It is best not to memorize the prepared-response word-by-word. Moreover, after you analyze the job description, you should be able to make some educated guesses about what type of questions will be asked.
Usually, the last question of every single job interview is “do you have any questions?” Often students choose to not ask any question because they are nervous and do not want to show there is something they can’t understand. But the question is really an opportunity for the potential employee to demonstrate his or her interest and knowledge of the position. You need to be prepared to ask smart questions.
You can bring notes and talking points, but don’t forget reading off the note is not a good idea. But the notes could serve as a reminder.
Dress for success
There is no specific answer of what should be worn to a job interview. But you should definitely put your nicest blazer or suit on. Don’t wear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and would reduce your confidence. To dress your best is important. You want people to remember you, your skills, and your experiences, not the way you dress.
Be ready for the panel
Interviews these days are usually panel interviews. So once you walk in, you need to shake everyone’s hands, remember their names and get their business cards if possible. If you are able to respond to them by name, it shows you pay attention to details well.
Always say thank you
The follow up process after the job interview is as important as the preparation process. Sending a thank you e-mail to everyone at the panel interview could help you claw to the top of their mind. E-mail follow ups can also be your damage-control tool. If there was a difficult question where you couldn’t come up with a concrete example, you can elaborate more in the follow-up letter.
Once you’ve done your best preparing for the interview, there is no need for you to be nervous. Remember to answer questions truthfully and positively. Try not to unintentionally self-depreciate. Every employer likes an honest and positive person.
Being able to rock a job interview will require time and dedication. The more effort you put in, the greater your chance of getting the job. At the end of the day, if things don’t go your way, remember every job interview is a valuable learning experience.