Don’t wait until you’ve been offered an interview to start practicing for the interview! It is not uncommon for an interview to be scheduled in short notice, giving you very little time to prepare beforehand. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the interview before it’s even been offered:
- Before you apply for a position, begin thinking about how you would market yourself in an interview for that position. What unique qualities can you offer the employer? What specific skills or experiences make you the best candidate for the job?
- As you research the company, ask yourself, and begin articulating, how you fit the position, the department within which you would be working, and the organization as a whole. How would you add value to the company’s customers? How might you help reduce their bottom line? How might you help the company accomplish its goals?
- While writing your resume, practice talking about some of the accomplishments and details you will be including in the document. Why did you choose to attend your college? What did you learn from your internship? What was your greatest contribution to your previous (or current) employer?
- Of course, set up time to practice with a career counselor, industry contacts, friends, family, and faculty.
An extra benefit of using the above mentioned tips is that, in the process of practicing for an anticipated interview, you become very clear about how you would be an asset to the organization to which you are applying. Therefore, your resume and cover letter will likely be much stronger because you will know exactly what skills and experiences to highlight. You will also tend to be much more articulate and confident when following up with the employer after submitting your application materials. The end result? It’s more likely that you’ll be offered an interview – an interview for which you will be very well prepared.