By: Katie Coulson
All jobs and internship hiring processes have one thing in common: the interview. Students will typically have numerous interviews throughout their college careers, some that end well and some that end not so well. Jenna Newman, the PRSSA Vice President of Professional Development, hosted the first skill slam of the semester on Monday night talking about interviews.
She presented the crowd with a brief powerpoint on how to dress, sample questions for the employer, 30 second commercial practices, and ended with resources that University of Delaware provides for students. Below are some helpful tips for interviewing that she thought were important:
- Do your research! Reviewing the company’s website before an interview is so important. You are able to learn all about the company and what they do, which will benefit you more than you know. Knowing their clients, work environment, and terminology will put you ahead of other competition. Along with the company, researching the job description is a must. You can use these qualities and details to prove that you are the one for the job. You should know what the interviewer is looking for.
- Dress for success. Dressing in business casual is always a good idea for interviews. However, do your research before the interview to see what the company’s environment is like. If they wear jeans everyday, don’t come to the interview in a fancy pants suit. You need to know your audience. A notebook and pen are also recommended in case you need to do an assignment for the interview or just want to take notes.
- Prepare with questions. Interviewers love to be asked questions about what they do and what their company does; it shows you are interested. Ask about the priorities for the position you are interviewing for and about any potential first assignments. Interviewers also love being asked about the office environment. Questions like these demonstrate that you are curious to see if you will fit in the office. Don’t ask questions involving salary, vacation times, or anything that can be found on the website.
- Practice your 30-second commercial. This 30 seconds about yourself should be memorized. The first thing interviewers want to know, is about you. “Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common questions asked. The 30 seconds should consist a career goals, skills or strengths, any accomplishments, reasons you canbenefit from the organization, and reasons why the organization can benefit from you.
- Send a thank you. After the interview, always send a follow up thank you note. A handwritten note is appreciated by interviewers. It demonstrates that you have the time to handwrite a note and appreciate the time they took out of their day to meet with you. The note should include an obvious thank you, but also should include something personal that you talked about during your interview. This can include afunny story that you spoke about, something that you found in common, or anything that you could use to make the note specific to the employee.
- Practice, practice, practice. Call your mom, give her interview questions, and answer them. Rehearse in front of the mirror. While it might seem unnecessary, practicing your answers will pay off. As they always say, practice makes perfect. Rehearse typical interview questions and then do research on unique questions; most interviews throw in a random question that might be a surprise.
- Be yourself. Employers want to know you; not a fake version of yourself. They want to know if you would be the perfect candidate for the job. You don’t want to represent yourself poorly, get hired, and then not be the right fit for the position. Being yourself is always the best thing to do.