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What should I do before the interview?

Interview Preparation Tips:

  • Ensure you possess a deep understanding and memory of all experiences, skills and qualifications listed on your resume.
  • Make a list of all of your skills, accomplishments, and experiences that make you a great candidate for the position.
  • Be able to answer:
    Why do you want to work here?
    Why are you a good fit?
    Tell me about yourself.
    What are your strengths/weaknesses?
    What are your career goals?
  • Organize yourself by writing out the answers to questions you may be asked.
  • Research your field through sites like Glassdoor.com.  Who are the top firms/organizations? What are the latest trends/new developments? 
  • Know the company you’re interviewing at: Who are their competitors?  What is the company’s mission?  What are their services/products? How are they doing financially?  What have they achieved recently that has appeared in the news?
  • Practice interviewing. Schedule a group appointment for interview preparation.
  • Prepare a list of questions (at least 3) that you want to ask.  Don’t ask questions that can be answered on their website or that were answered during the interview. Questions about salary, benefits, time off, hours worked should be off-limits
  • Pay close attention to job qualifications, as they will often depict the ideal candidate. You can use this knowledge to shape your responses. 
    • For example, if they are looking for strong customer service skills and experience in a fast-paced environment, you can showcase your skills in those areas with your responses.
  • Take each adjective/quality mentioned in the job description and on their website about what they seek in a candidate and develop personal anecdotes that demonstrates you have that quality.

It may be a good idea to have a few prepared core stories that you can use for multiple questions. This will make things much easier when you interview

  • A time you overcame an obstacle to achieve a goal (one as an individual and one as a group).
  • A time you failed at something (one as an individual and one as a group) and learned a lesson that you were able to use in a future situation.
  • A time when you were given feedback by a superior. How did you respond and improve?
  • A time you added value by taking initiative.

Remember stories can help illustrate your points. Important elements of the stories include C.A.R. (Challenge you faced, Action you took, Result of those actions), please be explicit about those results. For example, instead of saying “and in the end I got a good grade”, say this “and I am happy to say I received an “A” on the assignment.”

Remember to take advantage and get advice from our expert Career Coaches by making a group appointment. If you have any questions, email careernews@brooklyn.cuny.edu.

Review our page on what to expect during the interview.

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