As a current senior who is undertaking the home stretch before graduation, I have been applying to many different jobs. In a little over a month, I will be graduated and thrown into the “real world”. As a fresh college graduate or current college student applying to jobs or internships can be trying and frustrating at times. However, it is not as intimidating as going to that first interview. Throughout this blog, I will discuss my favorite tips and tricks for interviewing that have worked for me.

Research, Research, Research

Before even stepping into the interview, it is essential to do your background research on the company, the CEO, their employees, and partners. Conducting research about the company, their mission, and past accomplishments is a great start to being confident in the interview. Also, research allows you to get to know if you agree with the company’s beliefs and where you could possibly fit in. You can then use this research during the interview to bring up questions or discuss different topics that interest you. Another tip is to follow that company on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to understand their community and voice. 

Showcase Your Personality 

Currently, a lot of companies are holding virtual interviews due to the pandemic. Whether your interview is in person or through Zoom it is vital to showcase your personality to the interviewers. This could be done by telling a story about yourself, past work, or college experiences and projects. Your resume or social media profiles do not always represent you fully that is why it is important to do so during the interview. 

Communicate Non-verbally 

Along with showcasing your personality the way you’re doing it matters, especially virtually. It is important to be mindful of how you present yourself during the interview, your posture, hand movements, and facial expressions. I would recommend conducting mock interviews with your friends or family members or talking in front of a mirror to understand how confident you truly look. Practicing with friends or family members also results in great feedback and can reduce stress and anxiety before the interview. 

Always Ask Questions

Asking questions is a great way to clarify questions or to get to know the company in more detail. By asking questions during and after the interview you treat the interview like a conversation versus an interrogation. Having some key questions lined up to ask will make you feel more prepared. However, you want the conversation throughout your interview to flow not to sound rehearsed. 

My go-to questions to ask are: 

  • What is the work-life atmosphere? 
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced while working here?

Lastly, the most important tip I can give you is to be yourself. Exhibit your skills and abilities through past work you’ve done and impactful stories. If I can do it, so can you! Good luck with your future interviews and the opportunities that follow.

About the Author:

Emily Clevenger

Emily Clevenger is a senior at Grand Valley State University studying Communications, with a minor in Advertising & Public Relations. This is her first year involved in PRSSA, and her first year serving on E-Board as the VP of Public Relations. Emily plans to one day have a career in Public Relations or Communication in Grand Rapids, MI. In her free time, she is working for a non-profit organization called Bloom & Grow Coffee, cooking Pinterest meals, and spending time with her friends and family.