Interviewing Crash Course


This week's blog is written by Cecilia Groves, Graduate Administrative Assistant and Career Advisor.

Preparing for an interview will help you go in with confidence and impress the employer. This can feel like a big task to approach, especially on short notice (which can often happen after the career fair). So let’s break it down into some manageable parts. First, make sure you have all the details. Will it be virtual or in-person? If it’s virtual, is it a phone call or a video call? Are you speaking to a recruiter or the hiring manager? Don’t be afraid to look up your interviewer on LinkedIn and get to know their background a little. You should also review the job posting for the position which you are interviewing for and ensure you have a strong understanding of the expectations.

Doing some research on the company itself will also be extremely important. What are their mission and values? What cool things do they have going on? Do they have any recent, notable accomplishments? Being passionate about their company for specific reasons will really help you stand out. Whether the interview is behavioral or technical will also impact how you prepare. For a behavioral interview you may want to check out this LinkedIn guide of the most common questions asked and think about how you would respond. When referring back to experiences on your resume, try to mention a variety of experiences (different work experiences, working on teams for academic projects, extracurricular involvement, or even navigating living with roommates) rather than just talking about the same experience over and over. If you have time, you can even use OhioMeansJobs to conduct and review a virtual mock interview with yourself. For a technical interview you may be better off spending your time reviewing the topics and principles most related to the job posting, like a specific coding language. For either type of interview, you should be ready to answer standard interview questions. How will you respond when asked questions such as: “Tell me about yourself.” Why are you a good fit for this role? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

In addition to being ready to answer their questions, you should also have some questions of your own. This is not an appropriate time to ask about wage/salary. These types of details will come later in the job search process and should not be discussed until you receive an official offer. If you are curious about the salary range you can expect, check out Glassdoor or Indeed. Asking meaningful questions about the company and position shows that you are genuinely interested in this opportunity. For example, How flexible is the company about working from home? How much of your work will be completed individually vs with a team?

Don’t forget to dress appropriately. Attire is an important part of making a good impression. We recommend either business casual or business professional for interviews. The differences between the two are outlined in the student handbook. Another way to set yourself apart from other candidates is to send a follow up email. Make sure this is done within 48 hours of your interview.

Good luck!

“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.” – Idowu Koyenikan