Career Planning

Interview Tips Your Student Should Know

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By Alyssa Laffitte, Uloop

Interviews can be a stressful time for you and your student. Thankfully, there are ways you, as a parent, can help your child do well on their interviews. In this article, we’ll discuss interview tips your student should know.

Research “typical” interview questions

As soon as your child knows they have an interview, encourage them to research “typical” interview questions, to consider their answers to these questions, and rehearsing their answers to them. This will show them what questions to expect during their interview and will give them a chance to prepare strong answers. It is hard to spontaneously invent a good answer to some of these questions. (For example, how do you answer, “Tell me about yourself?”, or “What is your greatest strength/weakness?” It’s especially hard to answer these on a whim.) A simple Google search should provide a good list of questions to start with. Of course, there is no way to find all the possible questions an interviewer might ask, but it is still a good idea to know the “typical” ones. Then, your student should think about their answers to these questions. They should answer them in a way that shows they are knowledgeable about the company, the field, and the job they are applying for. When your student is prepared with strong answers to the “typical” interview questions, they will make a good impression on the interviewer.

Research the company

As your student researches typical interview questions, they should also research the company they will be interviewing with, since knowledge about the company could change their answers to the interview questions. More specifically, your student can tailor their answers to better fit with this specific company’s mission statement. For example, if your student learns that service is important to the company, they can spend more time talking about their service history and plans to serve in the future. This will show the interviewer that your student is a good fit for the company. In short, researching the company will help your student tailor their interview answers to each specific company.

Do practice interviews

After your student knows about the company and has tailored their answers, you should encourage them to do practice interviews. Practice interviews give students a chance to get used to saying their answers to typical interview questions. Practicing will also reduce the chance they will forget their answers to the questions, since they would have repeated their answers out loud, multiple times, before the actual interview. It really helps! By the time they need to give their answers for the interview, they will be comfortable.

Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

Most likely, the final question the interviewer will ask your child will be, “Do you have any questions for me?” Interviewees with no further questions might be deemed uninterested. To avoid seeming uninterested in the position and the company, your child should come up with a few questions to ask the interviewer. Their research on the company will be a good guide to inventing these questions, since they can ask about something they saw on the company’s website. They can even ask something like, “What is a typical day in this position like?” If your child finishes off the interview with strong questions, the interviewer will note their interest in the position.

BE ON TIME!!

An interviewee arriving late to an interview is a big sign of disrespect and disinterest to the interviewer. Someone who is truly interested in the job would arrive early for the interview. Make sure your child is the one who arrives early! Encourage them to give themselves ample time to get ready in the morning and to arrive at the interview spot with time to spare. They should double-check the time, date, and location of the interview and plan their transportation ahead of time. This will prevent unnecessary delays. Arriving at an interview on time is the best way to make a good first impression on the company.

Make a good first impression by dressing properly

Another way to make a good first impression on a company is to dress properly. Your student should go shopping ahead of time for an “interview appropriate” wardrobe. Nowadays, companies are allowing their employees to dress more casually. This means your child should investigate a little further to determine how they should dress for the interview. It could be as simple as asking someone at the company, “How should I dress for the interview?” Guidance regarding the company’s dress code can make a big difference; you don’t want your child to show up dressed too casually!

Send “thank you” notes to the interviewer

After your child finishes the interview, encourage them to send a “thank you” note to their interviewer. A thank you note will further demonstrate their interest in the company. Plus, the interviewer will know your student appreciated their time and effort. It’s the last chance your student has to show the company they truly want this position, so make sure they do it!

With these tips, you can help your student have a successful interview.


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