What to do before your Interview?
It is to your advantage to carefully research the job, the organization, and the people you will be interviewing.
Review the employer’s website. Check out the “About Us” section. Find the organization on social media. This information will portray what the organization wants the public to know about them.
Review the organization’s demographics, mission, vision, and organizational philosophy.
Research their products, services, clients, or customers, and stakeholders, as well as recent news.
Ask colleagues, friends, and faculty about the organization, and about any personal contacts at the organization they may have.
Research the position.
Know what you have to offer (your strengths, abilities, interests, motivation) & how your skills and experience are relevant to the position. When offered an interview, ask for the latest job description, an interview schedule, and a list of people who will be interviewing you. Know which department you will be working in, the specific duties & tasks, how the role fits into the flow of the company & how it will impact the company’s bottom line. Knowing about the job will help you prepare a list of your qualifications so that you can show, point by point, why you are the best candidate.
Find out the logistics of the interview.
The more you know, the more focused your answers will be. Find out when the interview is scheduled and how long you will be there. Also find out if you will be talking to just one person or to several.
Be prompt and professional.
Always arrive early (5-10 minutes early!). If you don’t know where the organization is located, call for exact directions in advance. Leave some extra time for any traffic, parking, or unpredictable events. If you are running late, call right away and let someone know. Give yourself time to read your resume one more time, to catch your breath, and to be ready for the interview. Once you’re at the office, treat everyone you encounter with respect. Be pleasant to everyone as soon as you walk in the door.
Dress for success.
Wear a professional business suit. This point cannot be emphasized enough. First impressions are extremely important in the interview process. Women should avoid wearing too much jewelry or make up. Men should avoid flashy suits or wearing too much cologne. It is also important that you feel comfortable. While a suit is the standard interview attire in a business environment, if you think it is an informal environment, call before and ask. Regardless, you can never be overdressed if you are wearing a tailored suit.
Carry a portfolio notepad or a file folder. Take extra resumes and have the names, addresses and phone numbers of references, in case the employer asks. Also, bring a list of questions for the employer. You may refer to your list of questions to be sure you’ve gathered the information you need to make a decision. Do not be preoccupied with taking notes during the interview.