By Jiaxin Yu, Peers for Careers Correspondent
(As orginally published in the Ticker:http://ticker.baruchconnect.com/article/career-corner-interviews/)
Getting an interview requires effort—the never-ending process of preparing resumes, networking, writing cover letters, and applying to postings can be tedious.
Eventually, however, the work pays off, and you are invited to an interview.
Interviewing can be intimidating, but it does not have to be if you properly prepare. With preparation, it is reasonable to expect the interview will go smoothly.
While students may want to cram the night before the interview, as they would for an exam, this is not a recommended strategy.
Interviews are conversations—not oral exams.
You need to be prepared to talk about yourself and your experiences. It is easy to fall into the trap of not adequately preparing, since you assume that you know all about yourself.
However, stuttering and struggling to find the right words during the interview, especially for simple questions, may throw you off and inhibit your ability to get the job offer.
Most interviews will start with, “Tell me about yourself.” Knowing this, take the time to prepare a personal pitch that directly answers this question. It will set the stage for your confidence level for the remainder of the conversation.
The Starr Career Development Center (SCDC) has received employer feedback that many Baruch College students display a weakness in articulating why their skills match position qualifications.
Employers also cite not doing thorough enough research of the company or position as another area of interviewing weakness.
Over the summer, SCDC created and launched a workshop specifically with the purpose for researching companies to address this issue.
Key things to review include the company’s mission statement, corporate culture, as well as the services they provide.
Being well-versed in your knowledge of the company’s vision and development can help you elaborate on how you can be an asset to them.
If students want to practice their interview skills, they can schedule mock interview appointments online through their Starr search accounts.
To make the most of a mock interview, bring your resume and position description.
On the day of the interview, be well-groomed and wear appropriate attire. Business suits need to be cleaned, ironed, and well-fitting. Making a strong first impression is key.
Additionally, it is suggested to arrive at least 15 minutes early for an interview.
These extra minutes allow you to sort out any nervous thoughts before you actually go in.
During the interview, remind yourself to focus on your strengths. Be prepared to elaborate on your skill set though relevant experience. If the recruiter asks about your weaknesses, state them—but also demonstrate the steps you have taken to minimize them.
At the end of the interview, ask the interviewer questions. Whether they are about the company or the position, be mindful to ask things that show thoughtfulness and are not available through a simple Google search.
Preparation is key for a successful interview.
Students who dedicate an adequate amount of time and effort to interview preparation are better equipped to present themselves in a self-assured way that will best earn consideration and acceptance from recruiters.