What is a job interview?

Congratulations! That job you applied for has requested an interview with you! Something about your application/resume/cover letter has caught their attention and they want to learn more! So, what is an interview?

An interview is a formal meeting between a candidate and a potential employer to determine if the candidate is a good fit for their open job. To do this, your interviewer(s) will ask you questions to learn more about your experience, skill set, and personality. At the same time, this is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the job to determine if it is a right fit for you. While many interviews are traditionally done in person, phone and virtual interviews have become more popular after Covid-19.

Follow these steps to prepare and show that you are the best candidate for the job!

(Hint - if you are asked to do an interview, the employer is already interested in you. This is your time to “seal the deal!”)

What if my interview is a phone interview?

Even though your interviewer can’t see you, this is still a formal interview and you should treat it as such. Make sure you are fully awake, dressed, and standing/sitting in a chair with good posture. When answering their questions, be sure to use proper English instead of slang words. Coming off as lazy will not leave a good impression.

You will also want to make sure that you are in a quiet place with good phone reception so that the background noise/static does not distract your interviewer. And don’t forget to charge your phone so that your call doesn’t drop because your battery died!

However, since your interviewer can’t see you, you can increase your confidence by having notes readably available. Print a copy of your resume and highlight the experiences that you want to discuss. Write out key points and stories that will show your qualifications. Have your questions sitting in front of you, ready to ask. Coming off as prepared will leave a good impression.

Still nervous about your upcoming phone interview? Schedule a mock interview phone appointment with your career coach!

What if my interview is a virtual interview?

Your interviewer wants to see you so be sure to turn your camera on. And since they can see you (and your surroundings), make sure that what they see leaves a positive impression. Still dress professionally from head to toe (just in case you have to stand up to get something) and sit in a chair that allows you to have good posture to show you are engaged and interested. You want your interviewer to focus on you, so make sure your background is not distracting. Clean your room, have your roommate leave the room, or pick a plain Zoom background if necessary. Take down anything that could be controversial (such as political references or something you wouldn’t want your parents/grandparents to see). Test the location before your interview to make sure you are happy with your setting. This includes checking your lighting and audio in addition to your background. Using headphones with a built-in microphone tend to pick-up your sound better than your computer.

Technology can sometimes fail, so be sure to have a plan B if your computer has issues. Examples include a roommate’s computer/tablet or your phone. If you do use someone else’s device, remember to change to your Zoom profile with your name. If you are still having technical difficulties, call your interviewer to see if they can reschedule or do a phone interview instead.

Still nervous about your upcoming virtual interview? Schedule a mock interview Zoom appointment with your career coach!

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