Pre-Interview Tips for College Grads
Googling a list of common interview questions shouldn’t be the only thing you do to prepare for an interview. There’s a lot more to it: making a great first impression, knowledge about your target company and their product and of course knowing exactly how to convey that you are absolutely perfect for the job!
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of pre-interview tips:
- Plan the perfect outfit. For companies that have a business or business casual dress code, keep your look basic and conservative for the first interview. For those businesses with a more professional dress code, make sure you get your suit cleaned, pressed, and tailored (a modern fit is best).
- Shine your shoes, check for loose hems, and make sure your fingernails look manicured. This is the stuff that you don’t always think people notice—but they do!
- If you need a facial, haircut, razor shave, or even a new interview outfit, then by all means do it! Feeling good about yourself will boost your confidence.
- Print out five copies of your resume. You never know who you’ll be meeting with, and you want to have your resume ready to go in case you’re asked for it.
- Prepare a reference list, whether you think you’ll be asked for it or not.
- Clean out your bag! If you have to dig past candy wrappers, phone chargers, and old receipts to get that resume, you’re going to look a little unorganized.
- Spend a few hours learning everything you can about the company—from as many sources as you can.
- Get a sense of “who” the company is and how to embody a similar personality during your interview.
- No matter what role you’re interviewing for—engineering, sales, marketing—you should always use the product before your first interview.
- Before your interview, get a list of the people you’re meeting with from the company. Then, make sure you know their background and reputation to the extent possible. LinkedIn is a great resource.
- Have an answer to “tell me about yourself!” ready to go. Interviewers always ask it, and you want to be sure to nail this first part of the interview.
- Finding some numbers, percentages, increases, or quotas you can use when talking about your responsibilities and accomplishments really helps you tell a hiring manager why you’re so awesome.
- It’s likely you’ll get asked why you’re interested in this particular role and company – so be prepared.
- Don’t just think about how you’ll answer certain questions; practice looking in the mirror and answering them out loud.
- When the interview winds down, you’ll surely be asked, “So, do you have any questions for me?” So, prepare a few smart, thoughtful questions.
- And last but certainly not least – get some sleep. Being tired at an interview will throw you off your game.