If you are a college student getting ready for a job or graduate school interview, these are the 5 powerful things you should do before an interview.
Interviews can be both exciting and stressful. After working so hard to perfect your resume, write a clear cover letter, and apply to a job, internship, or graduate school it can be challenging to prepare for an interview.
To make the process easier for you, we have outlined the five things that you should absolutely do before an interview.
Step 1: Review Your Materials
If you are like most students, you have spent time writing cover letters that are unique to each place you have applied. Prior to your interview, you should take the time to sit down and take a look at the cover letter and resume or CV you submitted for this position.
In addition to making two copies of your resume or CV to bring along to your in-person interview, you should take a moment to review what things may have changed since you submitted your materials. Exciting achievements like completing your internship or presenting a project at a conference can be brought up when appropriate during your interview.
Similarly, you should review the initial job posting or graduate school application to make yourself familiar again with the requirements your interviewer is looking for. If you have spent time finding the right internship to apply to, you want to make sure that you are ready to show that you are qualified for the job at hand.
Step 2: Review Company News
While you might be familiar with the program or job that you are interviewing for, things can change or develop quickly from the time you apply to when you are interviewed.
Prior to your interview, you should take the time to research any news about the company or school. A quick search on Google News and the company’s webpage can keep you in the loop for new announcements impacting the company. Your interviewer will appreciate you being aware of these developments.
Step 3: Choose and Prepare Your Outfit
As a student, you may wonder what to wear to an interview. It is good practice to choose a professional outfit at least 24-36 hours before you interview.
After selecting your outfit, you should try it on and make sure it is clean and ironed (if needed). The benefit to preparing your outfit ahead of the interview is that if there is an issue you have time to find a replacement. This is also true for the shoes you choose to wear on interview day. Make sure to choose a pair that fit you well and are comfortable enough to walk around the interview location.
Many students have shared horror stories of putting on an outfit that does not fit anymore or accidentally ironing a hole into their clothing the morning of an interview. So do yourself a favor and prepare your outfit in advance.
Step 4: Practice Interview Questions
Before an interview, you should give yourself time to practice your answers to the most common interview questions. Like stretching before a track meet can warm your muscles, practicing in front of a mirror or with a friend can help you feel more prepared when answering questions during your interview.
For tricky interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself“, we recommend taking some time to think through your answers and practice them. While you do not need to memorize your answers, the more you practice speaking about yourself and your accomplishments, the easier it will be during your interview.
Step 5: Take Care of Your Body
Taking the time to prepare for your interview is important, but it is even more important to take care of yourself before an interview. Taking the time to get a good nights sleep, having a solid breakfast, and taking some time to relax prior to an interview can leave you feeling calm and confident when you walk into the interview room.
If you find yourself feeling nervous prior to an interview, taking some time to go for a short walk, take ten deep breaths, or talk to a trusted friend can help put you in the right state of mind to show your best self during your interview.
Interviews can be scary for students, especially without good preparation. At the Balkhi Foundation, we hope to level the playing field through education – and we hope this resource gave you the insights that you need to have a strong and successful interview.