How to Ace a Job Interview Post-College

How to Ace a Job Interview Post-College

Colleges do a great job at giving students essential skills that translate into the job market. What they don’t do so much is prepare students how to demonstrate those skills in a job interview. The first step is actually developing and honing these traits that are desirable to jobs, but it doesn’t make a lot of difference if you can’t show that you have them to an interviewer. If you’re a soon-to-be graduate entering the job market, keep reading to find out how to wow any interviewer that dares to stand in your way.

Do your research

You wouldn’t give a presentation before learning everything about the subject first, so why would you go into a job interview without first looking into the company? Most likely, the job that you are applying to won’t be one that you are overly familiar with. It might be a position that you’re qualified for in a company that you know nothing about. When the interviewer asks you “why do you want to work here?” you better have done your homework and prepared a good answer. You can do this in a number of ways, by googling the company, browsing their website, or checking out their Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Try to get a general idea of the company’s goals and their values, and before you apply you might even want to check and see if they align with your own. Before going in for your job interview, you should have a good idea of what are the company’s goals and what they stand for, so that you can prepare to answer how you are the best fit. When in the researching phase of your interview process, you’ll also want to research the average salary for the position you are interviewing for. This is good to prepare for because you don’t want to undercut yourself and end up making less than you should, but you also don’t want to estimate too high and potentially lose the job. Some google searches and salary calculators can help with this.

Rehearse before your job interview

There are certain interview questions that you are almost guaranteed to get asked. Things like “tell me about yourself,” and “what makes you unique” are common and are the interviewer’s way of asking how you are qualified for the job. Think about what experiences, classes you took, or internships you worked that make you qualified to work this job. It is also good to connect traits about yourself back to the job listing itself. If it’s an accounting job, it would be good to say that you enjoy math and have taken a business accounting course while in school.
Other questions that interviewers frequently ask are “what is your greatest strength/weakness?” This question can appear straight-forward, but it is actually a bit more complex. For example, when answering what your greatest strength is if you were interviewing for the accounting position, you might want to say that your strength is with staying organized. It’s important that your answer is truthful, but also relevant. For greatest weakness, you would not want to say that you are bad at math. You want to answer with something that isn’t terribly relevant, but also say how you are working to overcome it. When answering questions, try to provide examples. Explain a situation where something relevant to the question happened to you, what you had to do, and how that improved the situation.

It’s also definitely a good idea to look up some common interview questions, and maybe even ask a friend to practice with you, but also try not to sound too rehearsed. A conversational but respectful tone should be the goal.

Prepare your own questions

At the end of the job interview, an interviewer is always going to ask you if you have any questions for them. While it might not be the worst thing in the world to have no questions at the ready, having a few prepared will make you look interested and willing to learn. Questions you should not ask are about the salary or the benefits. These are things that can probably be negotiated and discussed later on.

Instead, ask about the work environment, ask what a day in that current position might look like and about some of the projects you would be working on. You can even ask if they noticed anything in your resume that they didn’t understand and offer to clear it up before the interview ends. Having questions ready to go is a sure way to your interview on a good note. When interviewing right after graduation, it’s important to remember that the interviewer knows you have just finished school.

They know that you won’t have all of the experience that someone ten years older than you has, yet they still saw something in your resume that they liked and asked you to come in and interview. Don’t let your lack of experience intimidate you, instead focus on what your schooling has taught you, and how that makes you a valuable asset to their company. If you follow these tips then you’re sure to come across like a seasoned pro. Until it comes time to interview, Miles Smart Tutoring can help you in graduate school exams like the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT. Call (813) 328-3036 and speak to a representative so you can reach whatever goals you have in your current academic career and beyond.