The majority of MBA students return to school to make a transition to other industries or to advance themselves in their existing industries. As the career search process continues beyond general interest, students will inevitably encounter the interview and in some cases several rounds of interviews. In consulting with our excellent Business Career Services professionals and various human resource professionals at Fortune 500 companies, I have compiled five key points of emphasis to excel in your interview.
Dress the Part – Dressing in a professional manner serves as the first step in impressing the interviewer. Prior to uttering a single word, your physical presentation can affect how the person conducting the interview perceives you. The ladies should wear black, grey, or navy pant/skirt suits with white or blue shirts, a low heel, and understated hair and jewelry. The gentlemen should also sport black, grey, or navy suits with white or blue shirts and coordinating socks, belts, and shoes (black or brown). Avoid distracting attire such as dangling jewelry, earrings for men, and inappropriate ties (cartoons, logos, etc.).
Drive the Conversation – When preparing for an interview, one may anticipate numerous behavioral questions on the horizon. During the interview, however, less emphasis should be placed on the posed questions and more on telling your story. Select the attributes you want the employers to pair with you and utilize examples, which coincide with those qualities.
Be Inquisitive – Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer will most likely ask if you have any questions for them. Always prepare questions for this portion. This exudes an advanced interest in the opportunity, company, and industry and also presents a time to learn about the interviewer.
Keep Your “Game Face” On – Following the formal interview portion, an opportunity to meet other people within the company may arise. While this time may seem to be less formal, it is important to not relax. Maintain your professionalism when interacting with other people, and focus on building a valuable rapport with them.
Follow Up – It is a customary best practice to follow-up with your interviewer, thanking them for their time and the opportunity to interview. Be sure to follow up within a 48-hour period after your interview. This contact keeps you fresh in their minds and expresses a sincere gratitude for their consideration of you for the position.
I am confident that if you employ these best practices, you will pass through the interview with flying colors and be that much closer to landing your job! Thank you for reading the Student Life Blog! Be sure to stay tuned for more posts! Have a great weekend!