MetroLink DC - Student Tips for Success
MetroLink: Student Preparation
- Review your skills and assets. Think about the skills that relate to this job and how you can demonstrate them. Decide what things you would like the interviewer to know about you. Know why you want the job for which you are interviewing.
- Learn what you can about the company or organization. Read company literature, visit the organization's website and talk to current employees. Find out all you can about the position for which you are applying.
- Practice describing past job experiences. Think about what you would do if an illegal or awkward question were asked. Attend interviewing workshops and sign up for a mock interview in your career services office.
- Your résumé should be targeted to the job. Have it reviewed with your career services office, and have a friend double check for typos.
- Address the cover letter to the contact person listed for the organization. Cover letters should also be targeted to a particular job.
- The cover letter is the place to tell the story that the more formal résumé may not.
- Check with your career services office for names of alumni working at the organization you interviewing with.
- Most interviews will be for 30 minutes. Your goal is to receive an invitation for a longer, possibly on-site interview. The preparation, however, is the same as for an on-site job interview.
- Prospective employers will be looking for the answer to one question, "Why should I hire you?"
- Men should wear suits, ties, polished shoes, and socks. Women should wear tailored dresses or suits, stockings and pumps. Have a strong handshake. Look people in the eye. Never chew gum, and don't smoke.
- Plan to arrive a full 30 minutes ahead.
- Avoid back-to-back interviews
- Always write a follow-up letter after an interview. While it appears on the surface merely to express your appreciation for the opportunity to talk with the interviewer, it also serves to remind the interviewer of your qualifications and interest in the job or career field. It leaves a favorable impression and could be the one factor that really makes you stand out from the crowd.