Helpful Tips for Interviewing

Interviewing for jobs can be very stressful – you’re constantly meeting new people and trying to market your skills, convincing them that you’re the best fit for the specific position in a sea of talented applicants. We’ve prepared a list of tips to help you prepare and stay confident.

Before the day of interview

Know the company

You’ve just heard back from a job you applied to, and they want to interview you! You need to show your potential employers that you’re interested in the company, and that you value their time. Before you go into the interview, be sure to research the company as thoroughly as you can. At the very least, make sure you go through the company’s history, locations, divisions, and mission statement. Try and find out your interviewer’s name and position within the company beforehand – this will help you establish a personal connection.

Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer

Now that you know everything there is to know about the company, put that knowledge to good use! Prepare a list of questions, both about the company in general and about specifics of the position you’re interviewing for. This will let your interviewer know that you are taking the interview seriously, and will leave a lasting positive impression.

Practice answers to common questions

You have your list of questions for the interviewer prepared, but what is the interviewer going to ask you? While it may be difficult to preemptively define what you’ll be questioned on, there are standard questions that most interviewers ask you. Research these questions and prepare your answers (be sure to consult your resume). Practice what you’re going to say out loud in front of a mirror – this will help you remember and build your confidence!

On the day of the interview

Make a good impression

First impressions are everything! Make sure you’re dressed appropriately – this typically means formalwear. Carry a portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Always plan to arrive at least five to ten minutes before your interview time. This will give you a little extra time to freshen up if needed, and show the interviewer that you’re punctual.

Build connections with the interviewer

You don’t want to look nervous in front of your interviewer, as it will make you look unprepared. Address your interviewer by the name they use to introduce themselves. Always maintain eye contact when you speak. Try to maintain a pleasant face at all times – you don’t want to look anything other than happy to be at the interview!

After the interview

Follow-up with interviewer

The interview is over, and you’re waiting with bated breath to hear back on the company’s decision. Keep in mind that you’re not the only person they’re interviewing, which means you need to leave a lasting impression. Send a personalized thank-you note to each interviewer you spoke to within 24 hours of your interview. Re-iterate your interest in the job, thank them for their time, and feel free to include any details you may have missed during the interview. Good luck, Trojans!

Written by: Deeksha Lal, OIS Communications Editor, Master of Communication Management, USC Annenberg 2020