Stand above other applicants — Be prepared!
Review this Interview Checklist and follow these steps for success.
Step 1: Research the Company
Know the company or organization well! Use online resources on the Career Center website, jobhuntersbible.com/research, and Google news to find out:
- What are the organization’s major products and services? Any new products or services?
- Who are the organization’s clients or target market(s)?
- Who are the organization’s competitors?
- What is the organization’s relative position in the marketplace? (e.g. leader, #2, #5, etc.)
- What problems or issues is the organization facing?
- What are some of the organization’s recent projects, successes, new accounts, etc.
- What is the company culture?
- What size is the organization? Annual sales? Areas of growth or decline?
- Is the company privately or publicly owned? Is it an independent organization or part of a larger conglomerate?
Additional Sources of Information:
- Review the organization’s website and LinkedIn page if applicable.
- Use any search engine to access links to information about the organization.
- Call the company directly and request information such as annual reports, brochures, or other available materials.
- Work with Ame’s Library resources
- Check out Vault’s Career Insider, accessible from Titan CareerLink and glassdoor.com for insider reviews
- Students may also utilize the Hart Career Center resource library to obtain sources of information on organizations.
Step 2: Know Yourself
What skills and qualifications do you possess that the employer needs? What personal qualities and skills make you a strong candidate? Create an inventory of your skills.
• Computer/Technical • Communication • Accounting/Bookkeeping
• Analytical/Research • Organization • Management/Leadership
• Marketing • Financial • Teaching/Training
• Administrative • Selling • Helping/Counseling
Step 3: Prepare to Make a Positive Impression: Clothing and Accessories
Clothing - Conservative is best.
Men: A two-piece gray, black or dark blue suit with a white or pale long-sleeved dress shirt and matching tie.
Women: A tailored suit in a conservative color, such as tan, gray, burgundy, black, or dark blue.
Jewelry - Simple and conservative, no nose, eyebrow, lip rings. For women, avoid anything that dangles. For men, no bracelets, earrings, or large rings.
Cologne - Your best bet is something subtle or nothing at all.
Portfolio - Bring one to hold your resume and your list of questions, and paper to take notes
Cell Phone - Leave it in your car. Really.
Clothing cannot compensate for poor qualifications, but don’t let your grooming and dress work against you when your professional image can be an asset.
After the Interview: Professional Follow-Up
Send each person with whom you interviewed a formal thank you letter within 24 hours. Individualize each letter to the person. Include:
- why you are excited about working for this organization
- why you are a good candidate for this position
- additional information that wasn’t covered in the interview that is relevant to the position
- thank them for the interview and considering you a serious candidate
Example Thank You Letter
If you accept a position, it is a good idea to confirm you’re acceptance in writing (Example acceptance letter). Additionally, accepting a job offer ethically obligates you to cease job search efforts and to withdraw your candidacy from other organizations (Career Center Ethical Guidelines). A courteous phone call followed by a professional letter is most appropriate (Example withdrawal letter).