Interviewing 101

You’ve polished up your resumé, applied for a job and now it’s time for the interview. It’s easy to let your nervousness overcome you. If it’s your first interview, you’re more than likely going to feel jittery.

First of all, it’s important to speak with confidence and maintain a clear and steady tone throughout the interview. Sit up as straight as you can and maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Remember to be unfailingly polite and professional and dress appropriately. It never hurts to address your interviewer(s) by sir or ma’am. Don’t appear overly confident but be as enthusiastic as possible. Show your passion for the job and company during the interview.

It’s always good before the interview to have some knowledge of the organization or company you’re applying to. An interviewer may ask you what you know about the company, but even if they don’t you can always try and impress them with your in-depth knowledge of the organization at some point during the interview.

Prepare by thinking about some questions your interviewer may ask you. If you can jot down some answers to probable questions you will be asked you can rehearse your responses prior to the interview.

How to make them choose you? Image from Creative Commons.
How to make them choose you? Image from Creative Commons.

A question often asked of college students (especially in the business world) is, “Can you recall a time you had to work in a group on a class project?” They may ask you to describe your role in the group, the details of the project and if you had to overcome any difficulties.

Although you don’t want to rehearse to the point where it feels like you are reading from a script, it never hurts to be prepared with ready-made answers to common questions. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “What can you bring to this position?” “What is your greatest strength and weakness?”

Don’t be surprised if your interviewer asks you a question you didn’t think they would ask. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to answer on the spot. Group or panel interviews, where you are interviewed by multiple people within the company, are becoming more prevalent.

So what’s the best way to prepare?

Hold mock interviews with fellow students or professors. You can ask students who have applied to internships in your field how the process went and what questions they were asked. Faculty and professors at Radford University are usually willing to assist you in any way they can.

Lastly and most importantly, remember to thank your interviewer with a smile for the opportunity.