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Interview Tips

How to Interview for a Job or Internship / Angela Xinye Yang and Ryan Smith

  1. From the first moment of the interview, show your interest in the position. You might ask, for example, about the best contributions that interns have made over the years.

  1. Keep in mind that good eye contact will show your confidence and convey your personality. Keep your body language open and neutral to show that you are comfortable. Tell stories about your relevant experiences, and show that you are prepared for the job. Emphasize the contributions you can make to the company, not just your own accomplishments.

  1. Be sure to listen carefully to each question.  As you answer, show your thought process; be clear and concise; avoid predictable, superficial answers.  Good answers are relevant, thoughtful, and direct.

  1. Research the organization carefully before the interview.  Look into the company itself and its competitors; pay attention to recent news. Prepare to answer questions about the difference between this company and others. This preparation will enable you to talk about the company knowledgeably and follow up on ideas that your interviewers introduce.  

  1. Practice interviewing beforehand with professionals or peers, either in a group setting or one-one-one. (Hint: at DePauw, you can use the S Center for practice.  S consultants are well-trained to give you useful feedback.)

  1. Prepare a resume geared to the organization where you will have your interview. Choose your words and describe your experiences in this resume with the organization’s needs and interests in mind.  Prepare a portfolio of projects you have done, including ones from previous internships.  In the portfolio, as in the resume, highlight the way your experience will be valuable to the company.

  1. Ask good questions. Your wise questions will make a difference in how you are perceived as a candidate.  At the end of the interview, summarize your interests and skills, and ask about when you might expect to hear a decision. This step demonstrates your interest in the company and implies your commitment as well.

  1. Don’t forget the final steps:  Thank the interviewers and shake hands.  Then write a thank-you note to those who interviewed you, handwritten if possible.  This note may determine your success!

March 10, 2020