Interviews are probably the most significant part of the internship and job/post-graduate search processes. It is a dialogue between two parties, each with their own objectives.
The interviewer’s goals are to find out if:
- You have the SKILLS to do the job (both soft and technical skills)
- You are MOTIVATED to do the job
- You are a FIT with organization’s CULTURE
Your goals are to:
- Showcase your skills and interpersonal qualities
- Demonstrate your match for the job with solid, well-crafted examples of your experiences
- Determine if the position and the employer is a good fit for you
Gaining interview skills is critical whether you are pursuing an internship, full-time employment, a service opportunity, graduate or professional school, a fellowship, or a post graduate internship to break into a difficult field! Get your interview skills down. Understand the format, structure and STAR technique of the interview and you will be well on your way to STANDING OUT for all the right reasons.
- Big Interview is an online interviewing training tool to help you practice before your next Interview.
General Interviewing Tips
Arrive 5-10 minutes early.
Cell phone OFF (not vibrate).
Bring extra copies of your resume, a copy of your transcript and your project, design, art, or architecture portfolio when appropriate.
Build rapport with the interviewer(s) in the first five seconds – greet the interviewer(s) with a smile and firm handshake; make eye contact.
Brief silence is OK. If you are stumped by a question, taking a moment to collect your thoughts and consider your answer is appropriate – ask for a moment to think over the question. Asking for clarification (depending on the question, of course) may also buy you some time and/or make it more clear.
Be prepared with well thought-out questions.
Close the interview reiterating your interest in the organization and the position.
Ask for a business card in order to follow up with a thank you note.
Understand the next steps and the timetable; you may have to ask for this information.
Remember, any interaction with the organization is a part of the decision-making process – information sessions, meeting the recruiter at a tailgate, pre-nights, and talking with greeters, receptionist, or office assistants.