The Mission Society is hosting a Virtual Career Fair this October to highlight the variety of opportunities available to students after high school and college graduation - connecting young people with professionals and ensuring they enter the workforce with confidence. In this piece, we’re sharing a few tips to help students succeed in any job interview.
Whether you're eager to start your career right after high school, or you’re about to enter the workforce after graduating college, nailing a job interview is the first step to achieving the job you want. Read on to gain valuable tips and strategies to help you prepare for and excel at job interviews.
Focus on your Strengths
If this is your first interview ever, don’t be discouraged by lack of experience - everyone has to start somewhere! Try to convey a strong willingness to learn and eagerness to contribute to the team.
Do your Research
Get familiar with the job description and requirements, and be prepared to explain how your skills and experiences line up with the position. Then spend some time researching your future company's values and recent developments - this will help you tailor your answers to their questions, and show that you’re very interested in joining them.
Practice and Prepare
Practice answers to questions you might hear at your interview, such as "Why did you choose this field?" "Why do you want to work here?" and "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" It also doesn’t hurt to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. You can ask about company culture, what a typical day looks like at the job, and what are the biggest challenges someone in this position might face.
Plan to arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes ahead of time. If it’s a virtual interview, make sure any necessary video platforms are downloaded and up to date, and make sure you’re in a quiet place where you won’t have any disruptions or distractions.
Use specific examples to illustrate your accomplishments and skills. For example, be prepared to speak about a time where you demonstrated leadership, or give an example of when you solved a problem at your previous position.
A thank-you email helps you stand out after the interview. Send the email within one day of the interview to express your gratitude, and to reiterate your interest in the role. Ask them to keep you updated on any next steps in the hiring process.
Interviews aren’t only about showcasing your qualifications; they are also about demonstrating your professionalism and compatibility with the company. Though they can be daunting, each one is a chance to learn, practice vital professional skills, and get you one step closer to your dream job.