4 steps to acing your interviews, landing jobs


Ask The Career Specialist


Question: “I understand there are resources to help you practice interviewing for a job, but what are they? Do I need to make an appointment at University Career Services to go over interviewing? Are there other things that I can do without having to come into the office?” asked Marc, a sophomore.

May is right around the corner and whether you are scheduled to begin an internship right after finals or are still scrambling to find a summer opportunity, interviewing is an essential skill for securing an internship. While a strong resume is required to inspire a potential employer to learn more about you through an interview, it’s the interview that will get you the job.

Here are the top four tips to prepare for an interview:

1. Research Yourself: Review your resume and reflect on your experiences, especially those that are not recent. Be able to discuss your experiences, and most importantly, the skills you gained while working. Being prepared to talk about what you learned from each example is necessary to selling yourself to a potential employer. 

2. Research the Organization: Make sure to do your homework and find out as much as you can about the organization and the position for which you will be interviewing. Employers want a candidate that is well informed about their organization and understands how he or she will be a good fit. There’s nothing more off-putting to an employer than to have a candidate who knows nothing about the organization or the field.

3. Practice Interviewing: University Career Services offers Virtual Mock Interview (VMI), a web-based resource in CareerKnight, which allows you to practice interviewing from the comfort of your own home. Through VMI, you can select interview questions, watch your interview and store it for future viewing and/or scheduled coaching with a Career Development Specialist at University Career Services.

4. Apply Behavioral Interviewing: Behavioral interviewing focuses on past behavior to predict future behavior. There’s no more compelling evidence than providing past examples of how you demonstrated a specific skill or ability in the past. Prepare some talking points about these examples and practice them before going to an interview.

To learn more about interviewing and how to be successful in selling yourself to your next dream internship, review the Career and Internship Planning Guide available at the University Career Services website or meet with a Career Development Specialist at UCS to discuss interviewing strategies. 

“Ask the Career Specialist” is a column by Rutgers University Career Services that runs alternate Mondays. Submit career questions for future columns by emailing careerserices@echo.rutgers.edu.


Sue Pye

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