5 tips to help you prepare for an interview
We asked Rita De Luca, Fairstone’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, to provide her expertise on how to master the interview process.
Here are Rita’s five tips to prepare for an interview.
1. Follow your passion
The first step in the interview process is to search for jobs that match your skills and align with your interests.
Rita says: “Apply for positions that you’re excited about, and look for employers who encourage professional development. Try to learn as much as you can about the position and the company before you apply. If the work you’d be doing is not of interest or it seems like there won’t be opportunities to grow, it may be best to keep looking.”
Plan ahead for the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask. The interviewer will know you’ve done your homework and came prepared for the interview."
2. Do your research
Before you arrive for your interview, do your research and make sure you understand the organization and what the role entails.
Rita says: “Have a good understanding of the organization’s clients, products and services, and look for any recent news about the company. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer questions about their organizational culture and how the company supports its employees. Plan ahead for the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask. The interviewer will know you’ve done your homework and came prepared for the interview.”
3. Dress appropriately
Choose an outfit that’s professional and appropriate for the position you’re applying for.
Rita says: “How you dress for an interview depends on the work environment. You should always dress professionally for an interview, but it’s also a good idea to reflect the organizational culture as well. Do the company’s employees dress professionally or do they have a more laid-back style? Look into the dress code and adjust your wardrobe accordingly.”
4. Be yourself
It can feel like a lot of pressure to do well in a job interview, but try your best to relax and be yourself.
Rita says: “It’s important to be who are you and not pretend to be someone different. Don’t exaggerate your experience and be honest with your expectations. Otherwise, it’ll be very challenging if you do get hired and end up in a role that isn’t the right fit for you.”
5. Always follow up!
Don’t forget to follow up after an interview. This is not only a courtesy to thank your interviewer for their time, but it also reaffirms your interest in the position.
Rita says: “Send a quick note to the person who interviewed you. Personalize your note and talk about the highlights from the interview. This will show you’re still interested and keep you top of mind when they’re making their decision. If you don’t hear back, follow up a second time and see if they’ve filled the position.”
Remember: Interviews are all about marketing yourself. The more interviews you go through, the easier it will be to talk about your strengths and the unique traits you bring to the table. From Rita’s experience, one of the best things you can do to master the interview process is to know exactly how you’ll market yourself to future employers.
“Always be honest and humble. Market yourself on what you can actually do, not what you think you can do. Humility is one of the greatest traits that someone can bring to an organization.”
Related topic: Read our money management guide for graduates.