How to Nail Your Interview
With the completion of the Spring Career Fair on February 19th, many eager job seekers are anticipating an upcoming interview for a prospective internship, co-op, or full-time role. There are various types of interviews and stages to the process, including phone, skype, and in-person interviews. It is crucial to the success of the job-seeker’s employment search to prepare adequately for which interview they will be encountering.
One of the most significant tips for interview success in any situation is to research the company and position thoroughly ahead of time. This preparation is evident to the interviewer and shows enthusiasm. It makes it easier for the interviewee to compile questions to ask the interviewer about the position as well. Practicing typical interview questions, as well as questions pertaining to the specific role, prepares the job seeker for possible responses. Do not practice alone, get a friend and have them play the role of interviewer. Answering questions on paper is much different than answering questions out loud and in the presence of another person.
When arriving for an in-person interview, it is good practice to arrive fifteen minutes early. This shows respect for the interviewer’s time. Upon meeting the interviewer, give a firm handshake. Practice a handshake that is not too limp, tight, or long. Also remember to not wear strong perfumes or cologne.
How interviewees choose to present themselves strongly contributes to the first-impression formed by the interviewer as well as exhibiting that the job seeker cares about the position through their appearance. Conservative professional dress is typically expected in most business and technical job interviews. If a Missouri S&T student is in need of a suit for an upcoming interview or the career fair, keep in mind that the COER office has a suit closet that students can take advantage of for these events.
For masculine presenting individuals, the COER office explains that “a dark two piece suit is the most professional. A long-sleeved shirt should be worn under the suit and should accompany a simply patterned tie that should touch the belt. Shoes should be polished and worn with dark socks. Jackets should be buttoned when standing or walking”. As for feminine presenting individuals, it is recommended that “a solid suit and tailored blouse is most professional. Skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee. Always wear stockings, even in the summer. Accessories should be kept simple, including jewelry and makeup.”
Contact with a recruiter should not end after the interview; it is important to send a formal follow-up correspondence thanking the interviewer for their time. This can be completed via email, and should express appreciation for the opportunity to learn about the company and also reaffirm interest in the position. Additionally, the correspondence should end with a call to action, providing contact information and
sending the employer thanks for the opportunity to interview.
Overall, in an interview, the most important tip is to be yourself. Be impeccable with words and convey answers clearly. Always tell the honest truth while exhibiting enthusiasm for the role. On campus, there are various opportunities to work on evolving interviewing skills. The COER office offers two options; practice interviews with a COER advisor or a thirty minute appointment with an advisor to discuss preparing for an interview. More information on these opportunities as well as other career advice can be found at https://career.mst.edu or on the third floor of Norwood Hall.