Loyola University Chicago

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Learn the best tips to get interview ready

By: Julia Scharf

As college students we are entering the competitive world of applying for internships and jobs. Entering this new chapter, it is helpful to be prepared in order to stand out and hopefully get the position.

Here are some tips on how to be as prepared as possible for an interview.

This list of tips is compiled from advice given to me by past interviewers and my past professors.

1. Learn about the company, and who is interviewing you.

  • You want to know that the place you are interviewing with is a place you actually want to work. Read about the history of the company and the work they have done. Check out the company website, and try to find them on LinkedIn and other social media to learn anything you can about the company and later use it in the interview. It will prove that you know how to do your research and truly want to invest yourself in the company. Also you may not always know who is interviewing you but if you do, research them as well. You never know what you might find that can give you an edge to bond with the interviewer to make them remember you.

2. Most interviewers ask the same questions. Be prepared for them.

  • Look up the most common questions asked in interviews and have answers ready for them. This includes not only questions about yourself, but about the industry and company as well. To be confident that you can answer any question, practice responding out loud with somebody. Sometimes the answers sound good in your head but when you have to say them out loud they come out wrong. Lastly, any question asked, try to lead it back to you, your skills, and your prior experience. For example, a common question that is asked is “What are your strengths”. Make sure when you are answering this question you don’t just list out three of your strengths but also include how each particular strength will be an asset to the company.

3. Prepare at least five questions.

  • At the end of all interviews you will be given a chance to ask questions. Therefore, it is best to have questions prepared beforehand to show your interest in the company. Try to think of questions that won’t be commonly answered during the interview. These questions can focus on company culture, future plans, and most importantly how you can help the company.

4. Have an elevator pitch ready.

  • Although not all interviewers will ask you for your elevator pitch, it is good to have a quick summary prepared about yourself that you can expand on in your interview. Your elevator pitch has to include three things: Who are you, why are you great, and why should you be hired. As stated before, tie your greatness into why you should be hired and how you will help the company grow and succeed.

5. Bring a binder or folder with you.

  • Not only does this look more professional but you will also feel more prepared. In the binder have copies of your resume, cover letter, business cards, and references. You can even put in your questions that you want to ask your interviewer. Additionally, make sure you have a section to be able to take notes. This will further show your dedication to getting the position you are interviewing for. You don't even have to write down anything related to the job (although you should), but if you are writing something down it will look like you really care to the interviewer.