How to Ace Any Interview
Congratulations! You’ve just been offered an interview for the internship or job you’ve been excited about for weeks! But now, you realize you must take on the daunting task of preparing for it. While it can seem overwhelming, acing the interview is easy if you relax and stick to the following rules.
Do Your Research
While no recruiter will expect you to know everything about an organization, you should go into an interview with a good understanding of your potential employer’s industry and their products or services. You can supplement this research by reading news articles or press releases about the firm or the overall industry, which can help you answer interview questions.
If possible, you should also ask for your interviewers’ names beforehand. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with them and their positions and responsibilities through resources like LinkedIn.
When your interview finally comes, you should arrive 15 minutes early and dress to impress. Minute details like a suit jacket pocket square, a tie bar, or a school pin on your lapel will help to differentiate you from others by creating a polished and proficient appearance.
Be sure to bring several copies of your resume with you in a padfolio. You should also create a “cheat-sheet” of your research, key qualifications, and any questions you may have in your padfolio to prompt you should you draw a blank during conversation.
People want to work with people they like! Be naturally friendly and sociable to those you interact with, including the receptionist or even other candidates in the waiting room. The employer’s first impression of you working well with others can give you an edge over other equally-qualified candidates.
By offering an interview, the firm has already expressed an interest in working with you—so relax! Eye contact and a confident smile can help display your excitement for the position. Furthermore, your smile is likely to be reciprocated by others and will leave a pleasant impression of you long after the interview is over.
When the interview concludes, don’t forget to ask for your interviewers’ business cards so you can follow up with any questions you might think of later!
Send a Thank You
Always send a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. I like to send an email at 8 a.m. the next day so that it’s fresh in their inbox. Aside from common courtesy, the thank you note is a final chance to reiterate your qualifications and excitement for the opportunity. If possible, try to touch on a point from your discussions to show your attention to detail.
Remember, interviews are an intimate way for employers and candidates to learn more about each other. By being prepared with industry knowledge, great questions, and a confident, approachable attitude, you are sure to leave a great impression!
Andrew Secundo is a sophomore in Temple University’s Fox School of Business Honors Program and is pursuing a dual major in Finance and Accounting with a minor in Economics. He is the Director of Membership and Finance for the Temple Economics Society, a member of the Temple University Investing Association, and is the Pearson Campus Ambassador at Temple University. Andrew also enjoys participating in philanthropic events with Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, where he is an active member.
Andrew is a Pearson Student Insider. To learn more about the program and apply, click here.