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Do you have an upcoming interview for an exciting internship or job opportunity? Below are some tips to help you make a great impression!

Before the Interview 

Dress for success

Wear business casual attire:

  • Collared shirts, button-down or button-up shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, or blouses
  • Dress pants (slacks or trousers)
  • Cardigans or blazers
  • Knee-length dresses
  • Optional ties

Avoid jeans and sweatpants, cropped clothing, and casual shirts. 

Arrive early

Show that you are accountable and eager for the position by arriving a few minutes early. But try to arrive no more than 15 minutes early; your interviewer may not be ready to talk yet!

Research the company

Look up information about the company: who they are, what they do, who they work with, and what their values are. Examine how the company’s objectives align with your goals, values, or interests. PathwayU is a great resource to help you articulate goals, values, and interests.

Prepare for potential questions

Think up answers to potential questions that you may be asked. Students can participate in mock interviews through Big Interview.

Remember your resume

Your resume outlines your background and skills. Utilize it during the interview to help you reference your qualifications to your future employers. Bring two printed copies, just in case.

Practice your introduction

Prepare a short “elevator pitch” introduction — a 30-second speech that states your goals, sparks interest, and allows you to connect with the interviewer(s). Use the elevator pitch MAP activity to help you.

During the Interview 

Keep it positive

Focus on your strengths, skills, and goals for the future. Don’t talk badly about a current or former employer, professor, or experience.

Exhibit positive body language

Maintain good posture, make eye contact, and remember to smile.

Take notes

Taking notes gives you a chance to reflect on a question before answering and helps you retain new information as you learn it.

Ask questions

Ask questions about the company, work environment, and position. Some example questions include:

  • “How would you describe the company culture here?”
  • “What do mentorship and professional development look like in your company?”
  • “What are your goals for this role?”
  • “Could you tell me more about the timeline for hiring for this role?”
Be concise

Give your answers using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

  • Situation: Set the scene. Share the logistics of the story — the who, what, and when.
  • Task: Talk about an objective, issue, or obstacle that you had to overcome.
  • Action: What did you do to solve the situation?
  • Result: Talk about the result of your action.

After the Interview 

Send a thank-you email

Sending a follow-up email gives you the chance to remind the interviewer(s) why you are a good candidate for the position, demonstrates your professionalism, and helps you stand out from other applicants. See a thank-you email template in MAP or get advice from The Aspire Center!

Stay positive!

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