Hello new Grads! Media Works understands the challenges of finding a job after you’ve graduated, so we are here to help! A good interview can make you shine and stand out from other applicants, so we’ve put together a list of tips to help you before, during and after the interview process:
- Make your resume “pop”: In addition to ensuring the information on your resume is accurate and concise, you need to make sure it stands out visually too. A study conducted by TheLadders.com, an online job-matching service, found that recruiters spend, on average, 6.45 seconds reviewing each resume. Generally, recruiters review multiple resumes at a time, so displaying your experience in a creative way will make recruiters spend a little more time with your resume. This also indicates that you are technically proficient and can highlight your selling points in a way that makes you stand out from the rest.
- Do your homework: Do your research about a company and its leadership team before you show up for your interview. A company’s Facebook page and website are great resources and can help you gather information about an organization and its culture. If you know who you are meeting with, read through their bio if it’s posted; a little insider information on your interviewer might go a long way!
- Be prepared: The Boy Scout motto applies to the interview process – be prepared! Bring copies of your resume, a pad of paper or notebook, and a pen. Interviewers will most likely have a copy of your resume, but bringing an extra shows you are organized and prepared. Also, if an additional person joins your interview, you can provide them with a copy. Most importantly, taking notes and writing down important points shows you are taking the interview seriously.
- Dress appropriately: An interview is your first chance to make a good impression, so don’t blow it! Research shows that appearance influences perception, so make sure you dress appropriately. Some basic do’s and don’ts for attire: don’t show too much skin, never wear dirty clothes, wear clothes that fit you, avoid wrinkles, wear appropriate shoes and accessories, and never wear shorts.
- Bring questions to your interview: While the interview process is mainly for companies to interview candidates, it’s also an opportunity for you to interview the company. A good match is about finding the right fit for both the organization and the candidate. If you come to an interview without having questions prepared, it may appear as if you do not have a genuine interest in joining the company. And, while the company is looking to gather more information about a candidate, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the company and ask questions that cannot be answered by looking at a website or social media post.
- Never discuss compensation in the first interview: The first interview is for both you and the company to discuss your interest in the position and whether you are qualified for it. Bringing up compensation shows that you are looking more for a job than a career. Companies are looking to invest in their employees, but before they will even discuss financials, they need to know if you’ll be a good fit. Once it is decided that you are a good match, then the logistics of compensation and benefits are discussed.
- Always send a “thank you” note: Remember when your mom made you send “thank you” notes for your graduation gifts? She was training you for the interview process too! Sending a note of thanks after an interview not only shows that you appreciate the time the interviewee took to meet with you, but it also keeps you top-of-mind when the company is deciding who to bring back for the next round. Candidates that show gratitude through a quick note or email are often considered for positions over those that do not. For extra credit, it’s good to reference some of the things discussed in your interview. This shows that you were engaged during the interview and genuinely interested in the position.
We understand that the interview process can be stressful and sometimes discouraging. However, if you follow these basic tips, you’ll hopefully have a more successful interview experience, which will ultimately lead to an amazing job!