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Nick Rush

11 Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Job Interview

by Nick Rush | Jan 02, 2019

I feel like an adult now.

I have real interviews, real internships and real jobs on campus! This really wasn’t something I pictured myself doing at 21 years old. However, I’m glad I have! The experiences I’ve had at Manchester have prepared me for this. I’ve spent my last three years here working hard to obtain all the skills needed – both for the opportunities themselves and for the interview.

The interview process can be scary.. Talking to someone who has the authority to reject you isn’t fun.  There are several tricks and tips I’ve learned that have helped me, so I want to pass them along to you!

1. Know The Organization

When you can talk about the organization before they even tell you about it, it shows you’re interested and you care. It could also be a good conversation starter if you’re not sure what to say from the start. Take a look at the organization’s website. Here you’ll learn about projects they’re working on, news headlines and their mission statement.

 

2. Know What You’re Applying For

If you can’t tell the interviewer what your job will be if hired, then that won’t look as exceptional. Employers want people who are excited about their organization and the opportunities that await. Employers will be able to tell right away if you’re unsure or simply applied because you want the cash.

 

3. Prepare What You’re Proud Of

Interviewers will ask you what your biggest accomplishments are. Know what they are and what you want to say about them so you don’t ramble in your answer. Instead of giving vague answers, providing hard numbers is a great way to back up your accomplishments. For example, if your last internship consisted of social media projects, discuss how you increased engagement X% or how many followers you gained.

 

4. Look Good, Feel Good, Interview Good

If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Keep in mind that you can always ask what attire to wear depending on the interview setting. Personal advice: always assume it’s professional dress unless otherwise noted. Manchester’s Pinterest page (@ManchesterU) has some great tips for dressing for an interview.


5.  If You’re Not Early, You’re Late

Arrive early, but not too early. You should be in the lobby/waiting area 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time. If you’re checking in with a receptionist or front desk, be friendly. Interviewers will often ask for opinions on their first impressions of you. Remember, the second you walk into the building is when your interview begins.

 

6. Build a connection

If you can find a way to connect with the interviewer there’s an increased chance you’ll be memorable. Interviewers want to know about your professional accomplishments, but they also want to know you as a person. Try to build a connection before the first day of work even begins.

 

7. Listen

The interviewer will give you an insider’s prospective on the job and the company. You could relay that information back to them to prove you were listening, or you can turn it around and ask them a question about it.

 

8. Take Notes

Bring a small tablet so you can keep track of things the interviewer says. It shows you’re interested, and it’s also a good way to remember questions you can ask at the end.

 

9. Practice

Review common interview questions and consider what you would say to them. There are commonalities in many interviews; the more you practice, the better prepared you are – which means you’ll be more relaxed when you hear the question. But be careful, you want your answers to sound genuine and not rehearsed.

 

10. The “Winding Down” Part

This is when the interview is about over and you can tell they’re out of questions. Be thinking of how the interview went and what they could be thinking of you. When they ask if there’s “anything else” you’d like to say, always say something. I say something along the lines of I’m happy/excited to start working or at least having the chance to interview.

 

11. Questions

Ask one. I always ask about the timeline for their decision or the rest of the process. It shows interest to the interviewer.