Interviewing can be nerve-wracking, which is why we’re here to help! Whether you are interviewing for a job, scholarship, or something else, these tips can come in handy.
It may sound cliché, but practice really does make perfect. Never go into an interview without practicing a little. Practicing can be anything as simple as adjusting your posture to having a good answer to the most common interview questions. Be prepared to answer questions like:
- What are some of your greatest strengths?
- What is one of your weaknesses?
- Why should we hire/choose you?
- Tell me about a challenge you’ve faced and how you handled it.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Prepare your “Elevator Pitch!”
The objective of an interview is to sell yourself, and you are often limited on time. Think about the key things you want to address about yourself: your name, where you go to school (high school or college), your ambitions, what you’re passionate about, and why that makes you the best candidate. Imagine that you have about the length of an elevator ride to sell yourself.
Follow the STAR Method!
Interviewers often ask behavioral questions that will allow them to better understand how you would handle possible situations both in and out of the workplace. The STAR Method is an excellent guide to impressing your interviewer.
- Situation – introduce the situation that fits the question you’re answering
- Task – explain the goal you were working toward
- Action – describe the actions taken, but keep the focus on you, not the issue
- Result – describe the outcome of your actions
It is always good to ask questions after an interview! Interviewers will almost always provide the opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about the position, the company, or something else. If you don’t have any immediate questions, follow up and ask them later! If you’re curious, here are some examples:
- What is YOUR favorite part about working here?
- What does a typical day/week look like for this position?
- What is the next step in the interview process?
Remember to not only exit your interview with phrases like “thank you” and “it was nice to meet you” but also to follow up with an email expressing that same gratitude and reinforcing why you would be the best candidate. While this particular situation is primarily for job interviews, you should never forget to express your gratitude as you exit an interview. Send an email to your interviewer(s) the day of your interview, and follow up to kindly reaffirm your interest in the company if you have not heard from them within two weeks. For more advice on how to write these kinds of emails, read this guide on Indeed.
Regardless of what you’re interviewing for, take a deep breath. Get a good night of sleep the night before, eat a healthy breakfast, and remind yourself that you can do this! Good luck!