Preparing for Interviews

Preparing for Interviews

Pre-Interview checklist:

  • Book a practice Interview with your OSV Career Advisor
  • Confirm the time & address of interview, as well as the names of those who will be interviewing you
  • Review the company website and familiarize yourself with the organization–view their latest work, their products/services, their “About” page, and mission and vision
  • Research your interviewer(s) and the company leadership on LinkedIn — utilize this information to formulate relevant questions, and find appropriate commonalities (e.g. you and the interviewer went to the same university)
  • Prepare 3-5 questions for your interviewer(s). See sample questions to ask your interviewer below.
  • Prepare your Professional Outfit (Men: Suit and Tie, Women: Slacks/Skirt with Blouse and Blazer or Dress and Blazer)
  • Salary: Research the average salary for the position, industry, and city, and present this number only if asked
  • Closing the interview: confirm the next steps and the best person with whom to follow-up, shake everyone’s hand, look them in the eye and thank them for their time.

 

Things to bring to your interview:

 

  • Padfolio or Folder with at least 5 copies of resume and cover letter
  • Pen to take notes
  • Business cards (if you have them)
  • Samples of work (e.g. portfolio of graphic design work, visualizations of engineering projects)

 

 

Preparing questions for your interviewer(s):

Below are the types of questions you should be prepared to ask your interviewer(s).

  • New initiatives: ask about the new projects or programs that they are working on and how a candidate like you could contribute to said project.
  • Career history: ask about your interviewer(s) career background. Take the time to research their LinkedIn ahead of time to get inspired on questions you could ask. (E.g. I see that you have worked in “User Experience Design” at three different companies, can you tell me about how you got into this field and what makes you excited about design?)
  • Culture: take an interest in the company/organization’s culture. You can ask about team building, path to promotion, professional development, or mentorship. (E.g. “I know I’m just starting out and I have a lot to learn, so I want to begin my career with a company where I can grow as a professional. Can you tell me about what the company does to develop and invest in their employees? Are there professional development opportunities that someone like me could take advantage of?”)

 

Post-Interview Checklist:

  • Same Day: Send your interviewer(s) a thank you email. Include something that happened in the interview (.e.g. “I appreciated hearing about how [company name] invests in professional development and would be thrilled to take advantage of the training available if I were to be hired.”)
  • Next Day: Write a personalized, handwritten thank you card. Handwritten thank you cards go a long way. If you return the next day to give a thank you card to the receptionist or send a thank you in the mail, you will stand out.