Getting ready for a big interview? Interviews can be scary and it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare for them. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare for any interview to make sure you’ll make a good impression. Whether it’s an interview for a job, internship, or to get into university, we have a few tips for you to nail your next interview!
Research the company or school
If you’re going in for a job interview, the interviewers will expect you to be familiar with the company, its mission, how it operates, and their recent developments. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find all of this information through the company website, so be sure to study it thoroughly before you go in. Another great way to stay updated on what’s going on in the company is to sign up for Google Alerts. That way you’ll always know the latest information and can use it in the interview. This will show that you’re both prepared and interested in the company.
If you’re interviewing for a school, it’s a good idea to research the programme you want to study and be able to talk about reasons you want to study at that particular school. As with jobs, it’s also a good idea to be updated on major developments the school has undergone, whether it be new facilities, impressive new faculty, or research developments. As with a job, this shows great interest in the school, which can work in your favor.
Be updated on current events
It’s not uncommon for interviewers to ask about current events. They could ask about a certain event related to the specific industry or school, or they may just ask you about current events that you’re interested in. However, if they ask you to discuss any current event, be sure to avoid potentially controversial topics, such as politics. While this may be something you are passionate about, it could cause the interviewer to feel uncomfortable.
Knowledge of current events shows schools and employers that you are well rounded and are aware of events happening in the world that could affect your industry. As with researching the company, it also shows that you took the time to prepare for the interview, which is great for a first impression.
Think of real experiences you’ve had that you can use in your interview
Interviewers will often ask you to tell anecdotes of times you worked in a team, solved a problem, dealt with failure, and so on. These questions are meant to see how you function in certain situations that may come up in the professional or academic world. Always use a real experience and never make one up, even if you think your real experiences may not be interesting or impressive enough. Interviewers will be able to tell immediately if you are lying, which would be a disaster.
It is actually often easier to think of times you’ve been in these situations than you may think. For example, if you’re asked to talk about a time you had to work in a team, working on a term-long group project in school is completely applicable. You can talk about how you balanced the project with your other coursework and activities, how you coordinated schedules with teammates, and how you were able to create a timeline and stick to it. While this may seem like run of the mill schoolwork, it shows valuable professional skills such as organization and time management.
Be ready to talk about things that make your CV unique
If you have a unique experience on your CV, be ready to talk about it. Your CV is the first glimpse an interviewer gets of you, and if they see something that catches their interest, they’re likely going to want to know more about it. If you studied abroad, led a school-wide charity event, or were the president of campus club, be prepared to discuss these things in an interview. It’s likely the interviewer is already impressed by it, so don’t be afraid to talk yourself up a little.
If you’re looking to add something unique to your CV, consider volunteering abroad! It’s a great way to build personal and professional skills, especially if you volunteer with a project that is related to your desired career field. Additionally, any type of travel is generally interesting to interviewers because it shows that you’ve experienced new cultures and new environments. If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering abroad, click here!
For more interview tips, including tips on how to adjust to skype, phone, or in-person interviews, check out this guide from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
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