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The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Interview Tips

Mahati Ganji

Before you speak with a recruiter, hiring manager, or an employer for an interview, it is vital that you conduct some research on the company you are applying and wishing to working with. Getting a solid foundation of knowledge about the company, the job you want to apply for, and the requirements for the job, could lead to a successful start of your career. Using search engines and networking are the best ways to attain the knowledge of the company. Once you have laid the foundation of basics, it is easier to interpret the interview questions and prepare your responses. The goal is to determine the type of questions you will be asked and how you are going to tackle those questions. It is best to stick to concise responses and put them in a story, so that it would be easier for you to respond to the interviewer. Besides doing research on the company, there are some other important things to keep in mind or do during an interview or preliminary interaction with a company representative.

Firstly, always carry an updated resume. Another very important interview item is your actual resume and cover letter, that can be tailored to the company based on what you think they desire in a candidate. Your resume is your best tool to sell your skills, qualities, and experiences- technical or non-technical, all while conveying why you think are the best candidate for the job you are applying for. The cover letter also will help you in winning over the recruiter and the company by explaining your passion for that job position. Always bring extras of your resume and cover letter and see to that you arrive early for your interview. Arriving late can spell disaster before you even start the interview. If you arrive early, you can get a chance to look at the work environment and prepare yourself to make a good impression.

The first impression can often be the last impression that a company representative has of you, in that, it can shape how they interact with you in the interview and the manner in which they represent you during the selection process. For a good first impression, offer warm greetings to everyone you meet that day and dress your best. Most people judge you based on your first impression and that will determine how they perceive you. Even for a Skype or telephone interview, these things are vital, where you have to put forth extra effort to appear and sound actively engaged. It is a good idea to practice before hand in front of a mirror or with a friend as preparation for a Skype or phone interview. The established familiarity with the technology utilized for the interview may help prevent technical glitches by potentially catching them beforehand. If things do go wrong try to relax and keep calm, your best chance at recovering from the situation is to show the interviewer that you do not crack under pressure and when things go wrong. Another first impression tip is to always maintain eye contact! Even if it is a Skype call, always look at the camera and be engaged. To make yourself seem more presentable, place your laptop on a stack of books or a flat table to get the camera to your eye level. Nonverbal behavior and body language also play an important role as well and impact your first impression. Maintain solid posture, smile often and listen actively to what the interviewer is saying.

Another thing to be mindful of is your surroundings during an interview and adjust accordingly. This is especially important if you are asked to do a Skype or phone interview. If you are asked to interview over Skype or phone, always agree to it. That is effectively your first interview question. If you just said no, congratulations, you just lost your interview. Remember to always use a headset for a clear conversation and set yourself up, before your interview time, in a location with clean background and that is noise free. Eliminate any kind of interruptions and steer clear of other background conversations. This can be done by choosing a location with a known good WiFi connection or phone reception. There are interview rooms on-campus in Norwood Hall, for this exact purpose, just set up an appointment with the COER. Ultimately, the key to a successful interview is the quality of your responses and the confidence you put in it. Practicing common interview questions will help you avoid incoherent responses that annoy the interviewer.

At the end of an interview, always ask insightful questions. The interviewer expects you to show your interest in that job position you are applying for and the company. This will show that you have done your research on the company and the job. In doing so, you can also use these questions to sell your strengths and showcase your talents. This will seal the deal. You can ask about the next steps involved in the hiring process to show your confidence and foresight. In the end, be polite and thank the interviewer, both in person, as you leave (if applicable), and by email afterwards. This common courtesy is always well appreciated. In the end, keeping these simple tips in mind will help you to conquer the interview and land the job.


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