DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Interview Musts for Job & Internship Seekers

By: Alejandra Ruiz, DePaul University honors marketing major ‘16

The common mistake made by many of us is to think that because we have successfully mastered our resume, cover letter, and job applications that we don’t have to worry too much about the interview. Regrettably, that’s far from the truth. Even though you did a great job explaining your experiences and qualifications in your resume, cover letter and job applications – so much that you got noticed – you still need to cross that finish line. To do just that, you need to connect and impress the recruiters during your interview.

Here are 8 important tips that will help you wow hiring managers and be a successful interviewee:

  1. Conduct Research: It is fundamental for you to be prepared when you get to the interview. For everything to run smoothly, you should have a solid foundation of knowledge about the hiring manager, the company and the position you applied for. The more background information you have, the more confident you will be in answering the interview questions.
  2. Practice Ahead of Time: Before the interview, anticipate what types of questions they’ll ask and what detailed, concise responses you may give. The best way to practice is to think of your responses in forms of a story. This will ensure that you don’t sound like you’re regurgitating an already set response.
  3. Dress for Success: Make sure to plan your wardrobe ahead of time. Always dress professionally and according to the culture of the organization.
  4. Show up Early: For a less stressful interview, make sure you pack your portfolio and extra copies of your resume the night before. The day of the interview, show up 15 minutes early to ensure promptness and in case you get lost, have to fill out paperwork, or just want to give yourself a few minutes to relax and get a feel of your surroundings.
  5. Mind Your Manners: Say hello and goodbye to everyone, from the secretaries to hiring managers; you never know who is watching and when. During the interview greet with a firm handshake, smile, maintain eye contact and sit up straight! A positive attitude throughout the interview will express how enthusiastic and likeable you are.
  6. Be Authentic: To be successful in your interview, remember the quality and delivery of your responses matter. When responding, be truthfully and don’t be afraid to show your personality. Tell them a story; make them excited to hear what you’re saying. Show that your skills are not the only factors that make you amazing; but your authenticity is irresistible.
  7. Ask Insightful Questions: Show you are interested by asking questions. Show the hiring manager that you researched the company and that you have been listening. This simple yet always forgotten piece can set you apart from the rest.
  8. Be Thankful: Dedicate an extra minute to writing a follow-up email or letter thanking the interviewer for his/her time. This small gesture will go a long way and may influence the hiring manager’s decision.

Job and internship seeking is an exhausting and stressful process, but if done correctly, it can result in very positive outcomes. Remember, creating a perfect resume or cover letter and applying for the job is only a small portion of the process. Preparing for the interview and succeeding at it takes dedication and some practice. Consider these tips, and good luck on your next interview!

If you have any questions about these tips or are seeking advice before an interview, please visit the Career Center where wonderful advisors can guide you through the process.

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