Crush Your Interview
You have applied, waited patiently to hear back, and now you have received an interview! This is a key stage of the hiring process that is often overlooked by applicants, yet integral to job offers. Embrace your interview by preparing in advance, similar to how you prepare for a final exam. Use this page to interview and respond to job offers with confidence.
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Succeed on Interview Day
You made it! It is the day of the interview. You have prepared and you are ready. What else is there to think about? Believe it or not, a significant portion of interview success is attributed to how you present yourself, not just what you say.
Timeliness and Presence
Here are a few tips to help you be ready and present on the day of your interview.
Arrive 30 Minutes Early
Plan to arrive at the parking lot at least 30 minutes prior to your interview, to account for traffic and getting lost. It is much better to arrive early than to scramble last-minute. This gives you time to clear your head, listen to your favorite pump-up jam, and head to the restroom for a quick spruce up with a 60-second power stance.
Check-in 10 Minutes Early
Interviewers pay close attention to time, and many believe that you are “late” if you walk in right at the time the interview starts. To get your interview off to the best start possible, walk in 10 minutes early to check-in for your interview.
Start With a Firm Handshake
Look each of your interviewers in the eyes and thank them for the interview. Your handshake should be firm with a single or double pump in an up-and-down motion. Don’t crush the other person’s hand, otherwise they won’t be able to take notes on all of the great things you have to say in your interview.
Enthusiasm and Positivity
Here are a few tips to help you give off positive energy that people will notice.
If you smile and act enthusiastic throughout your interview, your interviewers will see how interested you are in the position and organization. If you don’t seem interested and engaged in what you have to say, it is unlikely that others will connect with you.
Exhibit Open Body Language and Good Posture
Sit straight with your lower back against the chair, and a slight lean in toward the conversation. Keep your shoulders open, with your hands out in front of you (on a table if there is one), and avoid crossing your arms. Open body language shows that you are open to new opportunities.
Manage Your Mannerisms
Every one of us has a mannerism or two that we rely on when we are nervous. For some of us, this could be wiggling our feet, using hand gestures rapidly, talking faster than people can keep up with, touching our face frequently, or using a filler word such as “Um,” “Like,” or “But.” In everyday life, these mannerisms often go unnoticed, but in interviews, they are important to control in order to appear confident and clear in your communication.
Everyone you meet is a part of your interview, including anybody who checks you in when you arrive. Be polite, thankful and courteous to all. If they do not tell you their names, ask and do your best to remember!
Thank You Notes
Make sure that you have the contact information of your interviewers before you leave your interview. Within 48 hours after your interview, follow up with a note to thank your interviewer(s) for discussing the position with you. This note can be emailed, or it can be handwritten to be mailed or dropped off at the office. While a handwritten note can show more effort, it also takes a longer amount of time to arrive and can sometimes get lost in a business’ mail distribution system. Choose the method that seems best for your thank you notes.
A thank you note allows you an opportunity to remind the employer of the skills and qualities you possess that are beneficial to the company. It is also a great time to mention anything you forgot to highlight during your interview, and to let your interviewers know that you are grateful for their time.
Here is an example:
Dear Ms. Rodriguez:
Thank you so much for interviewing me yesterday. I really appreciated hearing more about the technology solutions that Google is advancing on, as well as the specific duties of the Signal Processing Intern position.
I am more convinced than ever that this is the organization I want to contribute my skills to on a daily basis. As I mentioned in the interview, I think my Computer Engineering education and previous research experience would make me a great fit for the internship. I am excited about the opportunity to work on LIDAR and the great mentorship that Google provides. Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information that would make you confident about my fit with this wonderful team.
UC Santa Barbara, B.S. in Computer Engineering