Top 5 Tips to Keep in Mind When You’re Ready to Interview for Your Dream Job

You’ve been invited to interview for your dream job, what could go wrong?  After all, you are just talking about yourself, what could be so difficult?  Interviewing has plenty of pitfalls if you are not prepared.  Invest the time necessary to present your best, most genuine self and make the most of your opportunity to prove you are the right person for the job.

Research:

  • The interviewer will gauge your interest by learning what you know about their organization.  Visit the organization’s website, news feeds and talk to alumni or others who work at the organization.
  • Dissect the job description review the job responsibilities and qualifications as they are clues to possible interview questions.
  • Know what’s happening in the industry and be up-to-date on the latest trends.

Practice Common Interview Questions:

  • Begin by knowing yourself and what you have to offer the employer.  Be ready to discuss what skills and strengths you have that relates to the position.
  • A very common opening question is in the form of “Tell me about yourself.” Don’t repeat your resume, but rather talk about what motivates you, how you became interested in the field, what you bring and why you are excited about the position.
  • Find out more in How to Answer the 31 Most Common Interview Questions

Prepare for Behavior-Based Interview Questions (past behaviors predict future behaviors):

  • These questions ask for very specific examples that demonstrate particular skills or behaviors. To respond to these questions, use the STAR format:
    • S/T Describe the situation or the task
    • A Tell about the action you took
    • R Explain the result or outcome quantifying when possible
  • Practice with the Top 10 Behavior Based Interview Questions.

Prepare Questions for the Interviewer:

  • An interview is a 2-way conversation where both you and the employer are trying to determine if this is the right match. When it’s your chance to interview the interviewer, prepare and bring with you several questions such as 51 Great Questions to Ask In an Interview.

 Follow up after the interview:

  • The interview is not over once you walk out the door or hang up the phone. Send an email to your interviewer(s) within 24 hours of your interview, preferably as soon as possible. Personalize your email by noting 1-2 pieces of new information that reinforces your interest in the position.  If you don’t have contact information for all of your interviewers, ask the person who scheduled your interview for assistance. What else can you do? Read How to Properly Follow Up After a Job Interview.

View every interview as a learning experience by reflecting on what went well, what challenged you and how you can better prepare for the next interview or next round of interviews to land that dream job!

By Mary Michael Hawkins
Mary Michael Hawkins Director, Career & Professional Development Mary Michael Hawkins