Interviewing Strategies

Career tips for students in the Humanities and Social Sciences

By Beverly Ververs

You only get one chance to make a great first impression on an interview. Here are a few hints and suggestions to make the interview experience less onerous and intimidating. 

Know your product… YOU. Be aware of your skills, strengths, abilities, values and what you are seeking in a job. Be clear about your objective.

Know your employer… what is their mission, their product and/or service? How do your skills and abilities fit into the job they are trying to fill? What is the "corporate culture"?  Does the organization's mission, product, service, culture fit well with your values? Remember that job satisfaction is just as important as salary.

Practice, practice, practice. Become familiar with common interview questions and practice your answers. Know and understand the key words in your field/industry and use them in your resume and your interview answers.

Make a great first impression… dress professionally and arrive for your interview on time. Bring extra copies of your resume and your reference sheet. Bring a pen and pad for jotting down notes, TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF.

Ask insightful questions. Employers want people who are truly interested in and enthusiastic about the job for which they are applying. 

Never underestimate the power of two words, "thank you". Make sure to thank each person with whom you interviewed before you leave. Follow up the verbal thank you with a written thank you in either an e-mail or a short note. Being polite is not a guarantee of getting the job, but it may give you an added advantage by getting your name in front of your interviewers again.

For more information on resumes, interviews, and job searching strategies you can view: A Guide to Career Planning and Job Hunting.