I’m writing this blog in hopes that 1) you attended the UCF Career Fair on Wednesday and 2) you have gotten great news and scored an interview. So I think now is an appropriate time to refresh you on some highlights of preparing for an interview. You not only have to impress your interviewers with your ability and personality, but you also have to put in some extra work to prove that you are better than some other candidates.
Prior to your interview, you need to do your research. This is going beyond looking at the company’s career website and learning their mission/vision and services they provide. Have you checked out their reviews on Glassdoor? Have you looked for any news on the company (stock changes, layoffs, positive press, etc.)? I would suggest looking into these and also looking into their competition. Learning more about the company as a whole and their competition will allow you to make a better decisions about whether it’s a great fit for you and can lead you to ask some great questions like- “I saw that your team in Orlando did a community outreach event with xxx charity. What other charities and events do you participate in?” or “I saw that the company is opening a new office in Dallas in 2015. Are there plans to continue to expand into other new markets?” .
Furthermore, you need to research your interviewers. If the company tells you ahead of time who you will be meeting with, look into their professional history. Does anything come up in press articles with their name from their current or past job? What does their LinkedIn say about their experience? They will find it flattering and resourceful of you if they look at their profile prior to the interview.
- Know your career goals and how this position will help you achieve them
- Be enthusiastic about the position. Show them that you are really excited about THIS job, not just having a job.
- Be confident in your past experience, even if it’s limited. They think you are capable of the role, that’s why you made it to the interview. Just make sure to know how your past work experience translates. Example: You have only been a server, and you are interviewing for a teller position. Your past job as a server has been in customer service and handling money which translates a lot to the role of a teller.
- Answer questions with the CAR You may have heard of STAR; it is basically the same thing. Let them know the Challenge, your Action, and the final Result when they ask a question. Sometimes they may not frame a question like “tell me about a time when you dealt with a conflict”, the question may simply be “how do you react under difficult situations such as conflict?” They are still looking for a CAR formulated response, not just “I’m comfortable with conflict.” They want an example of it.
- Don’t forget to have a few questions for them. You can bring up information that you found in your research, ask questions about what your day-to-day would look like, what they enjoy most about working there, can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with, what skills and experience does the ideal candidate for this role possess, and what is the next step in the interview process?
Ok, I know you probably realize that this is something that needs to be done, but I just want to reemphasize that you need to send each interviewer a thank you note (this means you are going to want to ask for their business cards during the interview) and reiterate why you are a great candidate for the position. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a follow-up question or two if you have any. This will show them that you really are interested in the position.
Career Coach- General Business + BABA