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Top Ten Tips for a Terrific Interview

Jan 30, 2020

Interview Photo

 By: Kelsey Kuhns, MEDP Winter Term Internship Coordinator and Linfield College Student

Considering the McMinnville WORKS or Career Bound Internship Programs for this summer? Having a strong resume and cover letter is important, but it can only carry you so far. Having a great interview is what truly helps you stand out among other candidates. The McMinnville WORKS Internship Programs sends your resume to multiple companies, so it’s possible you will have more than one interview. Our 10 interview tips will make anyone stand out as an amazing candidate for an internship or job opportunity with the McMinnville WORKS and Career Bound Internship Program, or any job opportunity.

     1.IResearch the Company Beforehand- Not researching the company can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you don’t take the time to know even just a little bit about the company, then how can your interviewer expect you to be a good fit? You can do this by looking at their company website or social media pages, like Facebook or Instagram. You can also respond to questions with answers that tie back to the ideals and morals of the company which will make you seem like a better fit and applicant. 

     2. Anticipate Questions Your Interviewer Might Ask- There’s almost nothing worse in an interview than when you are caught like a deer in the headlights, trying to answer a question that completely threw you. By researching common interview questions, you’ll be able to avoid this difficult position and come across as clear and concise.

     3. Tie Your Answers Back to Your Accomplishments- This tip may not apply to all questions but it is definitely smart to do when you can. It can help subtly highlight why you are an ideal candidate for your interviewer and show the skills and traits that you would bring to the job.

     4. Practice, Practice, Practice- Practicing can be really beneficial, but it has the potential of being a double-edged sword. When an applicant sounds too rehearsed, it can be disconcerting. There’s no script for your job, so don’t focus on sticking to one in your interview. A smart way to do this while avoiding sounding rehearsed is to sit down with a friend and have them ask you questions and answer them how you would in an actual interview.

     5. Send a Thank You Email After the Interview- This simple act goes a long way with employers. It shows that you are professional, enthusiastic, and have great communication skills. It also demonstrates to your potential employer that you respect them and the time they took to meet with you. 

     6. Show Up Early- Traffic, wrong turns, or being unable to find a parking spot happens, and it’s not something that you should be willing to risk on the way to a job interview. It’s better to leave 10-15 minutes earlier to take into account these potential delays, and show your interviewer your respect and time management skills. The way you act in the interview translates over to how you would act on the job.

     7. Ask Questions at the End- At the end of every interview, your interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them, and it’s important that you ask one. You don’t have to be Socrates or Plato and ask some in-depth question, it can be as simple as “What are the ideals or morals of the company?” or “What are your expectations for me in this position?”. Asking a question shows initiative, interest, and that you are as diligent as they are in finding the right fit.

     8. Dress the Part- You know the saying “dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have”? This is what we are talking about. Demonstrate that you are professional, respectful, and are taking the interview seriously. Employers want someone who can fit into the workplace dynamic, and the way you dress is part of that.

     9. Have Examples for Situations of Conflict and Teamwork Ready to Go- You will always be asked about your experiences with conflict and teamwork, and how you handled them. There is no escaping these questions, and they tend to carry a lot of weight. It shows your ability to communicate and problem solve. Your examples do not have to be complex but make sure they are unique to you. Stay away from bad mouthing coworkers and instead seize this opportunity to highlight your communication skills and your ability to work with others.

     10. Have a Good Answer for Why You Want to Work There- Employers are looking for applicants that are enthusiastic about their work and truly want the job. It is always easier to show how you would fit into the company if it is a job that you really want. 

When it comes down to it, all of these tips root back to communication. Your resume and cover letter show your professional capabilities, but your interview shows your ability to communicate those skills in a workplace environment. In life, and in the workplace, so many conflicts arise due to miscommunications, so having great communication skills helps negate conflict. With those communication skills, you’ll come across as efficient, clear, and effective.

Apply to the McMinnville WORKS and Career Bound Internship Programs and put these tips to the test. With 14 positions available in a variety of different industries, you’re more than likely to find something that fits. Apply now for McMinnville WORKS until February 14, 2020, at www.mcminnvillebusiness.com/internship-application-form-2020. Apply for Career Bound until February 21, 2020, at www.mcminnvillebusiness.com/career-bound-application-form

 

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