Keys to Successful Interviews
DON’T interview for positions you don’t want. DO communicate to the interviewer that you want the position (and why) and that there is an excellent chance that you would accept their offer (if this is true).
BE PREPARED. Most interviews are won or lost based on reparation. Don’t assume that because the interviewer is a Fletcher alum you can be less well-prepared.
Have several good questions to ask the interviewer.
Don’t be passive.
Frame whatever you say positively, even if asked negatively (“What did you like least about your previous work as a …”)
Get across your agenda: three or four selling points for that position. Give examples to demonstrate each of those selling points.
Connect your personal and professional experiences to the position description and the particular questions asked during your interview. The interviewer wants to get to know you. The more you create a
personal connection, the better the impression, and thus, your chances of securing the job you want.
Know where you are on your career path and how the employer fits in. Having a clear idea of what you want to do and how you plan on getting there conveys confidence and drive. Scattered interests
and vague plans, on the other hand, send the wrong signals.
Be honest with yourself and the interviewer. You don’t want to talk your way into the wrong position.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! (And do it before your interviews.)
Be prepared for questions you hope they won’t ask (e.g., resume gap, previous unrelated experience.)
Be matter of fact in your responses, not defensive.
Even if you’re being interviewed for a summer position, know that the company is thinking about you long term.
ALWAYS send a thank-you letter reiterating why you are a good fit for the position. Ask follow-up questions or highlight something you failed to mention during the interview.
If alumni or references have championed you for the job, let them know whether you are going to accept or decline the job before you tell the recruiter.
If you decline a job, make sure the reason you give is framed in a way to consider the recruiters’ egos and reflects your professionalism. (“Bad” answer: “I really only want the job for a year.” “Better”
answer: “This was a very difficult decision, but I have decided to accept another offer.”)
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