Students have many different ways of preparing for an interview. Dominick Arnaldo, a senior computer science major, said he “looked up the interviews on Glassdoor and they posted the questions they might ask.” Nimra Noor, a junior accounting and IT major, said that she worked with her career advisor to practice one-on-one before the interview. Here are five tips provided by students that can help anyone ace their interview.
Practice your interview
Noor said that practicing her interview at the Career Center and at home helped her secure her internship this past summer at the North American Headquarters of BASF, the world’s largest chemical producer. “Practice your questions and look in a videocam or mirror and see how you talk,” Noor said.
Arnaldo, who was a software engineering intern at United Health Group over the summer, also practiced his interviewing skills after his first few interviews didn’t go well.
Do some research beforehand
According to students, knowing the company and its goals is also important if you want to impress the interviewer. “If you look up a company like Google and you do research about them, if you find an award they were given and you know about it, they really like that that you’re doing research and that would definitely make you stand out,” Arnaldo said.
Bob Franco, the associate director of the Career Center, added that knowing the employer can help you formulate how you are valuable to them.
“The most important thing is the teaching how to sell your value and that entails understanding an employer and their goals, the goals as a company and the goals of position,” Franco said.
Visit the Career Center for help
Both Noor and Arnaldo said that the Career Center helped them in several aspects of the job process. “In freshman year, you’re told to go for a resource, and I went, and since my first semester, I got into resume drafting and critique,” Noor said.
Arnaldo said that working with his career advisor helped with the interview itself. “Early on, Jaclyn, my career adviser, gave me an interview prep sheet and we did one-on-one mock interviews.”
Being confident in yourself and knowing how your experiences and goals align with the job’s requirements is also a big part of nailing an interview, according to students. Franco said staying relaxed and realizing that the student controls at least part of the interview can be key to their success.
“You’re the expert on you. They ask the questions but you’re in charge of the answers,” Franco said. “Sometimes you hear a question you get stumped by, take a breath, because if you’re prepared, take a breath and go with it.”
Noor also echoed similar sentiments. “Smile and be confident,” Noor said. “Carry on the conversation.”
Alyssa Schirm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.