When it comes to interviews you should always plan on doing more than the bare minimum for preparation – going above and beyond. If you really want the position you are interviewing for, make sure you consider the following in addition to going through a few practice questions.
Research Beyond the Web site
It’s vital that you take time to research the organization that you’ll be interviewing with. While their official web site is a good starting place, it shouldn’t be the only source you use. Check out Glassdoor.com to get an inside look on reviews of the company and even tips for their interview process. Another tool you can use is the Vault Career Insider, which you can access via SpiderConnect (the link can be found on the right side of the home page). Finally, don’t forget to simply run a Google search on the organization. This will ensure that you’re aware of any current events or news surrounding the organization, which can help with conversation during the interview.
In addition to using your web searching skills, the opportunity to speak with someone who currently works at the organization will give you first-hand information that will not be found online. First, turn to your network. Check in with family and friends and see if they have any contacts at the organization that they could introduce you to. LinkedIn will also help you to see how you’re connected to the organization. You can go directly to the company page and you’ll see a box in the top right corner with “How You’re Connected”, or you could also run an advanced search of your network using the company’s name. If you find a 1st connection you can directly message them, but if you only find 2nd connections use our tips from last week to see how you can ask to be “introduced” to the contact you’d like to speak with. The Spider Network is also a great resource – make sure you are a member of the UR Career Connections LinkedIn group to see if any alumni are working at that organization.
Craft Thoughtful Questions
I cannot stress enough how important it is to think critically about what you’d like to ask the interviewer when they turn the tables at the end of your interview. Having a few intentional questions for your interviewer will show that you’re not only prepared, but it will reinforce your interest in the organization. Check out some of these examples to help you get started.
Oftentimes, an organization doesn’t want to just hear about your past experiences and skill development, but they’re really looking to see what you’ll be able to do for them. From what you know about the organization, what ideas might you have to put into play if you were to get the position? This will show that you’ve thought beyond the interview and will showcase your knowledge and creativity.
As you prepare for an interview, don’t forget that practice makes perfect! Career advisors can assist you with a customized mock interview which you can schedule by either stopping by our office in THC 306 or calling (804) 289-8547. If you can’t make it in the office, or would like additional practice make sure to utilize the Interview Stream resource through SpiderConnect.
Now go out there and break a leg!