Preparing for your graduation is exciting, particularly since launching your career typically comes right after. During your job search, interviews are a common part of the equation. If you want to make sure you’re prepared, here are five refreshers and tidbits that can help during the interview process.
5 Interview Refreshers and Tidbits for Spring Graduates
1. Practice Your Interview Answers
Practicing answers to common interview questions relating to the job you’re trying to land is incredibly beneficial. It gives you a chance to refine your responses. Plus, you can increase your comfort level with the material you’re sharing, making it easier to deliver your answers confidently and naturally.
There are several practice strategies that work well. Downloading a list of interview questions, writing down potential responses, and rehearsing them is an excellent starting point. By practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself, you can also view your body language and eye contact level as you respond, giving you a chance to hone that skill.
College students often have access to career centers, so see if yours offers mock interviews. With those, you can practice with a neutral party and receive immediate feedback, giving you additional insights to further hone your answers. Plus, you can increase your comfort level by speaking with someone you don’t know well, which is beneficial.
2. Focus on Showing Over Telling
Hiring managers need to be assured that you have the right knowledge and capabilities to handle the duties associated with the position they’re filling. As a result, they’ll ask questions regarding specific skills and technologies, as well as ask you to describe how you’d handle various work-related scenarios.
When you design answers for interview questions, focus on showing over-telling by providing clear examples based on your past experience. That includes examples from previous jobs, internships, educational experiences, volunteer work, or any other relevant source.
With an example, you’re highlighting your value by discussing how you utilize specific capabilities to get positive results. The strategy is far more impactful than simply confirming if you have a particular skill, as it provides the hiring manager with helpful context. Plus, it makes your responses more compelling, increasing the odds that the hiring manager remains engaged.
3. Take Preparation Steps Before
Preparing for your interview in advance helps streamline the day of your interview. A few days before the meeting with the hiring manager, select your attire. Put it on to make sure it fits correctly. Additionally, inspect it for signs of wear and tear, holes, missing buttons, or wrinkles. If you see any issues, either correct them or choose other clothing for the meeting.
It’s also wise to print several copies of your resume and pack them in your bag the day before your interview. Also, pack other items you may need, such as a disposable toothbrush, if you can’t return to your dorm or home before the meeting, allowing you to freshen up before the interview.
Finally, get the details you need to attend the interview from the employer. Along with the address, request parking passes, entry instructions, or anything else that streamlines your arrival and access to the building.
4. Handle Your Basic Needs
Getting enough rest the night before your interview ensures you’re alert and focused during the meeting. Since tiredness negatively impacts your performance, make an extra effort to get enough sleep the night before. Know when you need to get to bed and have a plan for blocking out distractions, particularly if you have a roommate. That ensures you’ll get the rest you need.
Additionally, don’t skip meals, and stay hydrated on the day of your interview. Not eating or becoming dehydrated can leave you lethargic, unfocused, and uncomfortable. As a result, it’s wise to make sure you drink enough water and consume enough food during the day.
In some cases, bringing a snack that you can eat before your interview is wise if your meeting falls close to a meal time but a bit before one. It gives you a quick boost, ensuring hunger doesn’t distract you.
Also, plan to arrive at the interview location with enough time for a bathroom break. Otherwise, the beverages you consume to remain hydrated may run through your system during the meeting, which can lead to discomfort if you don’t have a chance to go to the bathroom beforehand.
5. Prepare Intelligent Questions to Ask
At the end of most interviews, candidates get an opportunity to ask the hiring manager a few questions. While many new graduates assume that saying they don’t have anything to ask works in their favor, that isn’t the best choice. Along with missing out on an opportunity to gather more information about the role or employer, not asking questions could come across as disinterest in the job. As a result, the hiring manager may assume that you aren’t passionate about the opportunity, and that can cost you.
Instead, spend time coming up with a few intelligent questions you can ask when the interview begins wrapping up. Make sure the questions focus on the information you can’t easily learn through research. For example, asking the hiring manager to describe a typical day in the position or the existing team dynamic are strong options, as that information isn’t always readily available online.
It’s also wise to ask about any next steps in the hiring process or a decision-making timeline. That lets you know when you should plan to follow up if you don’t get a response within the presented period. Plus, it can relieve anxiety regarding when a decision is likely to occur, as you’ll know when you can expect further updates from the hiring manager.
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