Whether you just submitted your resume and cover letter or just landed your initial interview, with a little preparation, you’ll be ready to interview with confidence!
Be Ready to Respond
Once you submit your cover letter and resume, be ready for follow-up. Check your email and voicemail (employers rarely send texts) throughout the day and respond promptly – within 24 hours. Employers expect speedy communication, and will likely move on to other candidates if they don’t receive a prompt response from you.
Review the Employer
Review the company’s website, along with their LinkedIn and social media pages. If you have the names of people you will be interviewing with, review their LinkedIn profiles. It’s not recommended that you connect with them on LinkedIn before or even after interviewing, but reviewing their profile can be helpful to know their professional background and whether you have anything in common.
Prepare and practice answers to common questions to refine and articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely. Using your knowledge of the employer and job description to tailor your responses to highlight your skills and experiences that align with the company’s goals and values. If you’re a 10,000 Degrees student, meet with a Career Mentor who can conduct a mock interview with you. Or practice with a friend, trusted colleague, professor, or other professional. It’s also best to prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview.
If you’re interviewing in-person, start by looking up the location of the interview in advance and planning your route. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to give yourself enough time for any traffic. Dress appropriately and professionally as first impressions are important! It’s best to dress in business attire if you’re not sure. Also, bring a copy of your application materials such as a resume and cover letter, copy of the job description (to review while you wait), notepad and pen, and a bottle of water to the interview. Be sure to write down the names and titles of the people that you’ll be interviewing with.
If you know in advance what video meeting software the employer is using, be sure you have it installed on your computer and that it’s up to date. If possible, practice using it with a friend if it’s a software you haven’t used before. Test out your interview location so that you can find a quiet and private space without background noise. Even if you aren’t bothered by background noise, it may be disruptive to your interviewer. If this isn’t an option in your home, ask your college campus Career Center if they have a space you can use, or call the local library to see if you can rent a room. If you do plan to interview in your home, make sure the background is professional for a workplace environment to limit distractions and ensure that the interviewer will be focused on you. More virtual interview tips