This is a blog post from our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador from University of Missouri, Sarah.
For many students, interviews are right around the corner. Whether you are searching for the perfect internship or full-time position, you can never be too prepared walking into an interview. Recently, my business fraternity hosted an interview skills workshop where we had the opportunity to talk with recruiters from various companies and gain their advice on how to prepare for an interview. Below are some of the tips that I believe are valuable to everyone preparing for and following an interview. The interview serves as both a time for the company to see if you would be a great fit for them, and for you to see if the company would be a great fit for you.
Do your research: Do not make a statement that you cannot defend. When you research the company’s website and see something you like, be able to explain why you liked it. The recruiters recommended avoiding vague statements if you cannot elaborate when asked to hear more.
Tailor to the company: Tailor your experiences and your follow-up. Since you did your research on the company and position before the interview, this should not be a problem. Be sure to tailor your answers to the values and characteristics of the position. When sending your follow-up note, you want to trigger their memory, so include something unique that was discussed.
Listen: Each person I talked to stressed the importance of listening to the questions being asked. Fully listen to the question so you can be sure to answer each point that was asked of you.
Context-Action-Result (CAR): When answering behavioral questions, be sure to use the CAR method. Paint a picture for the interviewer of what the situation was before, the action that you took, and the result. The result could be the resolution to the problem at hand or what you learned from the situation that you can apply to future problems.
Follow-up etiquette: A common form of follow-up after an interview is through email. Email etiquette is crucial. This is not a text message, and the recruiter is not your “BFF”, be professional and use proper etiquette in your note. Before you send your email, read over your message and think, “how would this be taken by someone who doesn’t know me?”
Be confident. Another point emphasized was that a company does not want someone who might be able to do the job. You have had great experiences, so be confident and proud of what you have accomplished!
Good luck, interns!