Building Your Interview Toolbox

Congrats! You have submitted your résumé and have made it to the first round of interviews!  Now the hard part comes along preparing for your interview. The interview is the make-or-break moment to determine if you are the right candidate for the job.

Interviews are daunting and can be extremely challenging due to two main reasons: uncertainty and lack of confidence. Building up your Interview Toolbox will allow you to prepare more efficiently so you are ready to crush your next interview.

Prepare by identifying the most commonly asked interview questions:
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? What can you offer that someone else can not? What is an accomplishment you are most proud of?  What is a mistake you have made at work and how did you correct the situation?  Practice your answers, recall specific times in past work, personal, or school experiences that can help you successfully answer interview questions.

Social Media Check:
Google yourself. What will the company learn about you? Identify any negative media about yourself and be ready to have a response that is not defensive. Update your LinkedIn profile, ensure that you have a profile picture along with information in the “About” section.

Research the company for which you are interviewing with:
Google the company that you are interviewing with and read some of the articles that pop-up, study the company website, know the mission statement, its products, services, locations, top executives, etc.. Is there a philanthropic mission the company advocates that speaks to you? Prepare by identifying the skills this employer is looking for and then correlate your workplace skill sets that specifically answer the needs of the employer.

Be positive and reflect:
Think of previous interviews that you feel went well. How long did they last and what questions were asked? Answer all questions in a positive manner, even those questions about your past experiences that may have produced a less than positive experience for you. Practice ways to calm your nerves and focus on how you can prove you will be a valued asset to the team.

Send a thank you note:
Summarize your value to the company in light of the discussion that took place during the interview. Shape your skillset to more closely match the position now that you have received more information during the interview. Include a brief insight on further thought you had after the interview. Conclude with a word of thanks to the interviewer for the time spent talking with you about the position and the company.