Interview Preparation for New Grads

Interview preparation for new grads can help you land a good job in a short amount of time.

By Peter Vogt, MonsterTRAK Career Coach

September 04, 2008

Interview Preparation for New Grads

The stakes are high during job interviews, especially when you’re a college student who is about to compete for your first job — the one that could launch your career.

It’s no wonder you’ll be nervous. But you can minimize your anxiety and put yourself in a position to win the job by preparing for your interviews thoroughly. Here’s how:

Research the Company/Organization in Depth

Fairly or unfairly, your interviewer will expect you to know quite a bit about his organization. So at a minimum, browse the organization’s Web site, read as many of its marketing materials as you can, and look for articles about the organization in major periodicals or industry trade journals. If you can, dig even deeper by talking to some of the company’s current employees.

Identify What You Have to Sell

What are the top three skills or experiences you can offer to the employer that other applicants can’t? Identify them before the interview, and then determine how you’ll communicate them to the interviewer.

Prepare Examples

Anyone can make claims in job interviews; far fewer people back them up. Be sure you fall into this latter group by thinking about some actual stories you can tell from previous work experiences to support your statements. Consider developing a career portfolio and using it as a presentation prop during the interview.

Develop Some Intelligent Questions

At some point during your interview, you’ll be asked whether you have any questions. Asking questions demonstrates your level of interest in the job. So be sure you develop a few ahead of time, and jot some down during the interview.

Develop Your Close

Successful salespeople know how to effectively close meetings with clients to win sales. Similarly, you need to learn how to close your interview to win the job — if you want it, that is.

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