How to ace your interview

Kendra Carruthers

So you landed an interview for an internship or job. Now what? The Marquette Journal talked to the College of Communication’s internship coordinator, Sheena Carey, and assistant professor Jeremy Fyke, to gather the best interview advice. Follow this guide and you’ll be on the way to the job of your dreams.

Photo by: Gabby Belzer

Before you get the interview – Research companies to find the best fit for you and your career aspirations. If you’re aiming for an internship, Carey said the “perfect” internship is one that will help you make good choices about your future career. “If the internship provides you with lessons about the kind of work environment you work best in, the kind of work you excel at, the kind of corporate culture that best motivates you — that is a ‘perfect’ internship,“ Carey said.
Preparation – Read up on the company, its history, its mission statement and its recent work. You’ll really impress an interviewer if you come into the interview already knowing a lot about the company and can reference various things they’ve done. Prepare a list of questions for your interviewer to keep the conversation going and show your interest in the company.

Body language – Greet your interviewer with a smile and eye contact. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview (note: this isn’t a staring contest, either). It’s the best way to show you’re engaged and interested in the conversation. Don’t slouch in your seat — pull your shoulders back and sit up straight. This conveys confidence.

Handshake – Remember to give your interviewer a firm handshake. There’s nothing worse than a dead fish handshake or a death grip. A solid handshake and eye contact demonstrate professionalism and establish a level of comfort.“It’s important to consider the handshake, as a social greeting ritual, as one of the first chances you get to make the all-important first impression with a prospective employer,” Fyke said.

During the interview –Fyke said one of the most important things that can help a job candidate stand out in interviews is specificity.

“It’s simply not enough to say, ‘I’m an effective communicator.’ Give an example of what effective communication looks like in your experiences,” Fyke said. “Are you good at leading meetings, giving presentations, and being persuasive? Share these examples, and try to apply them to a work situation so the employer can see what you can bring to the organization.”

Professional attire  –Dress toward the conservative side. Take the time to do your hair. Double-check to see if your skirt is an appropriate length; it should touch your knees if you are sitting. Nice slacks and a button-down shirt is always a good look. Gap and Banana Republic are plentiful with business attire, and they have great sales.

Briefcase-

What to bring to your interview:

– Cover letter

– Resume

– Business cards

– Pen and paper

– 3-4 samples of your best work

After the interview – Follow up with the company and your interviewer. Send a handwritten thank-you note thanking the employer and telling him or her what you learned. Also, include a reminder about why you’d be great for the job. Chances are, multiple people are applying for the same position, so remind your interviewer how interested you still are.


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One Response to “How to ace your interview”

  1. Ken C on December 8th, 2011 10:28 am

    best attire for males ae dark suits, white shirt, solid or striped tie, keep it conservative. shoes must be shined and not pocket hanks, etc. Best and Good Luck!

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