The One Word Secret to Acing YOUR Interview

Preparation.

Alright, so it is not flashy, new, or something to meme about, but it is absolutely essential. One of the more popular presentations that our office puts on multiple times per year is entitled “Acing the Interview.” It tends to be well attended and students who go are usually very lively, asking lots of questions. This probably comes from a combination of factors, one of which is the fact that interviews can be anxiety provoking for even the most seasoned of job seekers.

So how about you? Are you ready? Do you know how to stand out in an interview and go from interviewee to hire? Can you tell me about yourself? Do you know what strengths you have that relate to the position you are applying for? Can you tell me how many golf balls fit in a 747? Can you tell me about your leadership style? Or how you handle conflict? What about a time when you failed at something?

If any one of these questions made you stop in your tracks, and I am guessing at least one did, then we can help. While one can never know what exactly will be asked in an interview, employers are ultimately trying to figure out if you have the skills to do the job, if you can exercise those in their environment, and if you are a fit for their organization.

So how do you become a well prepared candidate? We will start with the obvious. Practice. The Center for Career Development offers an excellent and customized practice interviewing program, learn more under the Undergraduate Students pull down menu when you click on interviewing.

Alright, so practice is one thing, but how do you prepare? Good question! Know your industry. Get on LinkedIn, find one of the more than 90000 UConn connections on there in your industry. Connect with them, ask good questions. Interviews are different by industry so it matters. If you are applying to be a teacher they will not likely ask you about golf balls fitting into jumbo jets, but if you are in consulting or finance, they might! You need to know these things. Other good sources for industry knowledge are online articles, LinkedIn groups, professors, people in your network, and yes, even Google searches! If you don’t know how to get started, come see someone in the Center for Career Development.

“But I’m on break!” you might be thinking right about now. That’s fine, we are here and ready, but in the meantime, check out our online resources too.

Interviewing can be nerve wracking, but the good news is that it is a skill anyone can get better at. Start the new year off right and start preparing today!

By Michael Petro
Michael Petro Assistant Director, Internal Relations Michael Petro