University Career Center

A young man preparing for an interview

For many of you it's interview season. At this point you've proven you can present yourself through your resume and cover letter -- a chance at the job of your dreams is only a few more interactions away.

Interviews are designed for employers to find out if you are the right fit for the job as well as for you to find out if they're the right fit for you. If it is your first time in a professional job interview don't worry about nerves or anxiousness -- the feelings are normal if you have them. Plus they'll go away (or at least lesson in intensity) with practice.

Paraphrasing Brenjamin Franklin, "If you are failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." The first step to any successful interview is preparation. Do your research on the company and know why you want to work there. Sounds simple yet so many people fall short in their preparation. Spend time on the company's website understanding the products/services they offer. Talk to someone at the company to get a better understanding of what the day-to-day operations are like as well as the corporate culture (i.e., ask for an informational interview). This is your opportunity to illustrate your passion and interest for the company and you can do this by showing them that you took the time to really understand who they are.

The second step is being comfortable in your own skin. Interviewing is all about being yourself. It's not a natural talent -- it's an acquired skill. So how do you alleviate those nerves and become an expert interviewer? Practice makes perfect. Come in to the Career Center to schedule a mock interview with one of our advisors. We can provide you with feedback on how to improve the way you present yourself in an interview in order to help you make your dream job a reality.

Photo Credit: Alex France / CC By 2.0