Everyone knows what comes after the career fair – the interviews. The hard part. But you’ve got what they want. After all, you are in the top sales program in the entire nation.
However, everyone gets nervous before an interview, no matter how talented they are or how perfectly they fit the job description.
Jason and Cate from Apex Systems gave us some great career advice at our last Monday night workshop and they briefly gave us some interview tips. I’m here to reiterate those tips, dig a little deeper, and give a little more advice.
- Know the interview details: where, when, who, and what.
If you show up to an interview late, you better have a great reason. Think that not knowing where the interview is will suffice as a good enough reason? Congrats, you just lost the job. You need to know who you are interviewing with and remember their name. You need to know what position you are interviewing for and the details of that position. Do a little research. Put in the work.
- When answering questions, be concise and avoid tangents, share examples, and use numbers.
It’s so easy to blab on and on when you are nervous. I know, I do it far more than I’d like to admit. But just work on keeping yourself in check. You want your answers to fully answer the question without going on too long. You should always share an example for a question but only if it’s applicable. Make sure that you’re not stretching the story to make it fit.
- Show appreciation to everyone you meet.
Although the interviews post-career fair are normally conducted on campus, this tip is very important to remember. Everyone you meet at a company is interviewing you. The secretary, the security guard, heck, maybe even the office dog. Treat everyone you meet as if they are the one who gets to put you in the “yes” pile.
- Don’t be afraid to follow up on interviews.
Your follow up should include specific details from the interview, not just a general “Hey! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!” Apex Systems was a lot more lenient on proper follow up time than what Allie and Adam usually advise us. Jason and Cate said up to 48 hours after the interview is acceptable. Allie and Adam always say you better follow up within 24 hours, otherwise it’s “hasta la vista, baby.”
- For phone interviews: stand, smile, and ask questions to gauge whether you should expand on answers.
Phone interviews are very common and you’ll most likely have one at some point. Don’t treat it any differently than you would an interview in person. Wear business professional. Do your hair. Have your resume right in front of you. It all makes in a difference in your tone, your confidence, and your over-the-phone appearance.
I don’t mean to worry you with all these warnings. Obviously you’re great at interviewing because you made it into the Schey. It doesn’t hurt for even the best interviewers to brush up a little on their skills, though. Remember these main five tips, keep calm, and show them what you’ve got and you’ll be on the top of that “hire” pile.