Preparing for Your Interview
Dartmouth-Hitchcock's recruiters share tips for making the best impression at your interview.
An interview is the time when a company is able to learn more about your skills, knowledge, and attitude. To an employer, an application or resume is what you’ve done, while the interview allows them to see who you are. While your application got you through the door, your interview could earn you the job.
Going into an interview without any preparation may hinder your success. Here are some things you may wish to do in advance.
Tips on how to prepare for your interview
- Learn all you can about the company and the position for which you are applying.
- Ask friends and family for information they may have about the company.
- Print extra copies of your resume and/or letters of reference for your interviewer.
- Learn the route to the interview location.
- Be prepared to talk about yourself and your accomplishments.
- Ask yourself, or have your friends ask you, a series of interview questions. The more questions you answer, the more comfortable you will be in the interview.
- The interview starts when you walk in the door. Everyone you meet within the company may have an effect on your outcome.
- Dress for success. It is always better to overdress than to underdress.
- Make eye contact with everyone you meet.
- If possible, take a trip to the bathroom before your interview to check your hair/teeth etc.
- Use a firm handshake.
- Don't shy away from small talk.
In the interview
The goal of your interview is to show the interviewer why they should hire you.
- Be positive.
- Answer questions thoughtfully. Use specific examples of things you have done.
- Express a good attitude showing that you are willing to work, eager to learn, and flexible.
- Avoid getting too personal or straying too far from job-related discussions.
- Show your potential to the company.
- Be prepared to ask questions to show you have done your research and that you have paid attention during the interview.
Remember: The interview is your place to shine. Come prepared, set yourself apart, and know that you can do it!