In-person job interviews are nerve-wracking. You’re finally getting the opportunity to show your potential to the company, but you’re nervous you’re going to blow it.
At Schneider, I work in Corporate Recruiting, and I’ve come to learn how important job interview preparation is.
Here are my tips for job interviews – including what to do before, during and after the interview.
Before the interview
1. Research information about the company
Demonstrate during your interview that you care enough to have done the research beforehand. I recommend:
- Looking at the business’ website and social media sites.
- Signing up for company newsletters and emails
- Following any influencers at the organization who can keep you up-to-date
- Reviewing your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile
2. Come up with questions ahead of time
If you did your research, you can base your questions around it. Asking questions is your time to learn even more about the company you want to work for. Bring a notebook with your questions to the interview so you don’t forget them.
Examples of questions to ask could be:
- What have you enjoyed most about working here?
- What kinds of opportunities are there in the company and/or department right now?
- What types of challenges could I face in this role?
Here are some commonly asked questions that we hear at Schneider. Hopefully this will help generate your own questions.
Plus, you can write down any new learnings
Consider doing a practice interview with friends or family members to gain confidence. Ask for feedback on your answers, your body language and your resume. Take the feedback and work on improving yourself prior to the interview.
During the interview
4. Dress for success
You want to dress appropriately and professionally for the job interview. It usually won’t hurt to dress more formally for your interview than you would for the job. If you have a contact who works for the employer, ask them about the general dress code.
For men, I recommend:
- A solid-colored suit, like navy, black or grey
- Dress shoes and dark socks
- Professional hair style and groomed facial hair
For women, I recommend:
- Solid-colored dress pants or skirt (just below or above the knee), like navy, black or grey
- Coordinated blouse
- Conservative shoes
- Limited jewelry
- Professional hairstyle
5. Be ready to talk about specific examples
Many companies are switching to asking behavioral-based interview questions. Behavioral-based interviewing focuses on how the interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations, so start coming up with examples that you could share in the interview.
Many behavioral questions start with, “Tell me about a time when…” or, “Please share a specific example of…”
6. Show the interviewer what you have to offer
Show that you have the right background and experience, and that you would be a great match for the role and the company’s culture. The interview is the place where you can showcase your skills and show that you are confident in yourself.
Share your experiences on how you handle a problem or even projects that you were involved with in college. You got this… now tell the interview panel!
After the interview
7. Follow up with a ‘Thank You’ note
Make sure you send a ‘Thank You’ email or note to the leaders with whom you interviewed within 24 hours. It is appropriate to ask for the interviewer’s business card during an interview so you have their contact information. It’s respectful to thank an employer for taking the time to meet with you.
Looking for more interview preparation?
Check out our Resources Page for more information about Schneider’s hiring process and additional interview prep tips.