Follow each week as we present step-by-step suggestions to achieve post-college success with less senior year stress.
Preparation is the key to interview success. And while most preliminary interviews won’t require you to have detailed knowledge of the company, being able to incorporate your understanding of company practices into your answers will demonstrate your initiative and strong interest in the position. Here are some ways to prepare for your interviews thoroughly and efficiently:
- Start by familiarizing yourself with the company website. Look for interviewing tips in the employment section, then check out the website from the perspective of a customer or client — because that is whom the company is catering to.
- Conduct your research in a way that allows you to generate questions for the interviewers. Since you’ll want to ask something that is not answered on the company’s webpage, ask yourself:”what’s missing?” as you do your research.
- Evaluate different points of view on the company you are researching. Aside from the company’s website, you will want to look at trade journals, consumer reviews, and recent news articles.
- If you have more time to prepare, try setting up a google alert (www.google.com/alerts) to email you when news on the company you are interviewing with is posted. This will help you go into the interview with the most up-to-date information available.
- Don’t ignore the company’s social media presence. Make sure you “like” the company on Facebook, follow it on twitter and monitor their blog if they have one. This will demonstrate a continued interest in the company’s work.
- Use your University if Michigan alumni network! Create a profile on LinkedIn, and with the U of M Alumni Association’s social networking tool, inCircle. See if you can connect with anyone from the company you’re interviewing with, and conduct an informational interview.
Remember if you don’t have time to adequately prepare for all of your interviews, then you are probably applying to too many jobs and you will need to narrow your search. If you’re feeling unsure of how to prepare, or just want to fine tune your skill, you can always schedule a mock interview at the Career Center; we are always here to help!