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Interview Tips

Congratulations on landing an interview! This means that you are likely 1 out of 100 people who applied for the position. So what should you wear, say and do when you meet with a potential future employer? Check out these 15 tips for a successful interview.

Before the Interview:

  1. Start with research. You should have a knowledge of the company and the people who will be interviewing you before you arrive. Use LinkedIn, Glassdoor and the company’s web page. Do not feel shy doing this. It is likely they already researched you through these avenues.
  2. Practice your answers to common interview questions. We offer resume reviews and mock interviews for our current students and alumni in the MCNetwork. If you want to practice an interview, schedule a time with us and submit the job posting and your cover letter and resume. We'll connect you with an alum who will ask questions that are pertinent to the job.
  3. Take notes about the job description, so you don't forget anything during the interview.
  4. Be prepared with examples of your work. Especially in creative positions, be prepared to have a portfolio to share with members of the hiring committee.
  5. Prepare questions for your interviewers. If you have specific questions about the job, ask them! Also use this as an opportunity to ask questions about the culture of the workplace. Think about your questions in the same light as the interviewers - is this company the right fit for me?

During the Interview:

  1. Plan your interview attire the night before. Businesses are looking for polished professionals who will represent their interests. Be sure to dress for success and look the part of that polished professional.
  2. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen. Bring enough copies of your printed resume on clean paper for each interviewer and yourself (and an extra!). Bring a pen and a small notebook. Prepare to take notes, but not on your smartphone or another electronic device. Write information down so that you can refer to these details in your follow-up thank-you notes. Maintain eye contact as much as possible.
  3. Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 10–15 minutes early. Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time. Consider doing a practice run. If you’re taking public transportation, identify a backup plan if there are delays or closures.
  4. Make a great first impression. Yes, you will be nervous, but smile and try to display confident body language. Use a firm handshake and look into the eyes of each interviewer when speaking to them.
  5. Treat everyone you encounter with respect. This includes people on the road and in the parking lot, security personnel and front desk staff. Treat everyone you don’t know as though they’re the hiring manager. Even if they aren’t, your potential employer might ask for their feedback.
  6. Win them over with your authenticity and positivity. Being genuine during interview conversations can help employers easily relate to you. Showing positivity with a smile and upbeat body language can help keep the interview light and constructive.
  7. Respond truthfully to the questions asked. While it can seem tempting to embellish on your skills and accomplishments, interviewers find honesty refreshing and respectable. Focus on your key strengths and why your background makes you uniquely qualified for the position.
  8. Connect your interview answers to your background and skills. Try to answer questions by citing specific examples of solutions and results you've achieved in the past. Use every opportunity to address the requirements listed in the job description.
  9. Keep your answers concise and focused. Your time with each interviewer is limited so be mindful of rambling. Practicing your answers beforehand can help you stay focused.
  10. Do not speak negatively about your previous employers. Companies want to hire problem solvers who overcome tough situations. If you’re feeling discouraged about your current job, focus on talking about what you’ve gained from that experience and what you want to do next.