College Grad: Ace that Job Interview! – Part I
You and thousands of other college graduates are gearing up for life after finals, when you’ll join the rest of the adult world as a member of the workforce with a “real” job. Your task? Outshine the competition and rise above the crowd of graduates clamoring for the best entry-level positions with the best companies, offering the most promising career potential. A tall task but one that’s far from impossible. The first step is an attention-grabbing resume that will land you an interview. See Resume 2018 – Part I and Part II for practical tips to creating a top-notch resume. Once your resume opens the door to an interview, it’s time for step 2: PREPARATION Remember, you’re walking onto a fairly level playing field with your fellow grads – it’s critical to make the best possible impression on the interviewer(s). Hands down, the key to a successful job interview is in the prep, so do your homework.
- Learn all you can about the company. Dig into their website. Read anything you can get your hands (or eyes) on. Check out their social media presence. Like or follow their pages. Be on the lookout for achievements and awards. Jot down the most recent ones should the opportunity to congratulate them on their accomplishments present itself.
- Before interview day, drive to the company at the same time of day that the interview is scheduled. Drive around the block a couple of times to familiarize yourself with the traffic pattern and the parking set-up. If it’s a complicated route, drive it more than once. If possible, take the familiarizing a step further by locating, inside the building, the office where the interview will take place.
- Give careful thought to your interview outfit. Tackle shoe polishing, mending, and wrinkle removing well in advance. Peruse the ensemble a day later to see if you still feel it “says” what you want to convey.
- Assemble the documents—a copy of your resume, supporting documents such as papers, presentations, etc.—in a file folder or briefcase.
- Ask who's going to be part of the interview. Why worry and fret when you can have this information and use it throughout your preparation.