A job interview is your opportunity to demonstrate the value you would bring to a specific job and organization.
Before the Interview
Knowing that you have an interview coming up can be stressful. However, if you use the time before your interview to prepare yourself, you will likely look and feel more confident during the interview.
- Research the job scope and qualifications, the company, and the interviewer.
- Prepare a concise answer to the question “Who are you and why do I care?” The answer should be a short, memorable, and credible statement of your values that aligns with the interviewer’s needs. Construct an elevator pitch.
- Think of persuasive examples that illustrate situations in which you had a positive, measurable impact, brought a relevant skill to bear on a task, or overcame significant obstacles to achieve a goal.
- Have a set of three to five questions prepared that demonstrate an authentic interest in the role and the company. At the very least, they should indicate that you have been to its website and read your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile.
- Develop a case to present if it’s a consulting interview or a stock to pitch if it’s for an investing position.
During the Interview
Whether you get the job depends largely on how you behave at the interview — what you do, what you say, and how you say it.
Demonstrate the Following
- Ability — focus on accomplishments that best illustrate your capability to solve complex problems and lead problem-solving activities
- Fit — based on energy, expressed ambition, insight into the company, and respect for the interviewer’s time
- Motivation — including the ability to summarize and align your skills and values with the needs and values of the target company, demonstrated in part by the quality and authenticity of your questions
- Consider asking the interviewer if there are any areas of concern regarding your candidacy. This allows you to proactively address a concern that might not be expressed.
- Reiterate your interest and excitement in the role.
- Ask about next steps and timeline in the hiring process.
- Request a business card if you do not yet have the interviewer’s contact information.
After the Interview
After a job interview, it’s important to follow up with the hiring manager. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and to reiterate your interest in the position. Your thank-you letter, email, or call is also an opportunity to highlight your relevant qualifications and slip in important details that may not have come up during the interview.