Preparing for Your Interview
Congratulations--you got the interview! Start preparing early, and contact us to schedule an appointment so we can map out next steps. Think of preparing for interviews as a four-step process:
1. Know yourself
- Self-assess as you prepare your responses to questions like: "tell me about yourself", "describe your leadership and communication style", and "what is your most significant accomplishment"?
- Talk to your peers, professors, and family. They can offer a valuable perspective when evaluating your own attributes and personality traits.
- Talk to one of us and we can assist you in framing this information within the context of the position you’re applying to.
2. Know the employer, and how you can contribute
- Conduct research prior to the interview so you can be famliar with the company's products and services, its mission statement and values, how it was established, and where it is headed.
3. Prepare to discuss salary
- Prior to your interview, research industry salary ranges, the salary range of your potential position, and the company's benefit package.
- Determine your personal budget. Think about rent, transportation, bills, food, and fun.
- While salary may be introduced in your first interview, you should never bring it up yourself. If sharing salary is required, conduct research through Glassdoor or other aggregate sites and put a range or "competitive" in your application.
- Here are a few ways to respond when asked about salary: a) I am open/flexible about starting salary; b) my requirements are competitive for this industry; c) My range is ________ ; or d) I would like to have this conversation after determinining if there is a fit between the two of us.
4. Look your best
- Whether you are interviewing at a traditional consulting firm or a start-up, keep your look basic and conservative.
- Make sure your outfit fits and looks perfect: clean, press, and tailor your suit if necessary.
- Don't forget the little things: Shine your shoes, check for loose hems, tidy your hair and nails, shave, and leave the perfume at home.
- Be on time.
- Make eye contact, and answer the questions asked. Ask for clarification if you need it.
- Be prepared with questions that demonstrate your prior research. For example: 1) What is the usual time frame for making a hiring decision? 2) How has this position evolved since it was created? 3) What have you enjoyed most about working here? And, why did you choose this company? 4) Can you describe some current challenges that the selected candidate will encounter?
- After each interview, follow-up promptly with a thank you note.
Never forget that the interviewing process is one of mutual selection. Should you receive and accept an offer, you will spend more time with your colleagues than with most individuals in your life. It's important that you like them and the work that you do.