You sent out your resume, applied for positions, attended a career fair, and landed a job interview. Now what do you do? Getting a job is not about your resume alone. It’s all about being a great communicator!

Interviews provide an opportunity for you to share your skill set and experience, but it is also important to be able to be able to articulate your fit for the position, and then demonstrate your ability to perform under pressure, especially when answering unexpected questions. For employers, the entire interview process is designed to sift the average candidate with the basic skills to do the job to identifying a candidate who will not only be able to do the job, but also has additional skills that are beyond the job description.

Without a doubt, interviewing for a job can be stressful. The better prepared you are, the less stressed and more confident you will be. According to the Career Center, it is important for you to be familiar with the company and be prepared to tell the interviewer why you would want to work there. You also need to review the job description and be able to share how your qualifications match the job. Whether military background or fast food experience, you need to articulate the skills gained and demonstrate how those skills will benefit the employer, regardless of the industry.

Always begin the interview with a solid description about yourself because many employers will determine your fit with the company and the position within the first few minutes of an interview. You need to be able to articulate and sell yourself to potential employers from the very beginning.

Hiring managers often use behavioral interviewing techniques such as the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Results), which is a technique that relies on past performance to indicate future success. For these types of questions, be specific in the answers and give a variety of responses and examples when describing your competencies to validate the skills being sought.

To avoid costly interview mistakes, and distinguish yourself from the competition, consider following these tips from Career Center experts:

  • Research the company and WHY you want to work there. Use websites, social media, and people you know who are employed with the company to learn as much as you can. This will show you are interested in the company and have taken the time to do your homework.
  • Review the job description. Then demonstrate how you match the requirements.
  • Know the company’s needs. Convey how you are the right candidate for the job, and prepare a convincing strategy to position yourself to fill the company’s needs by showcasing past results, not just duties.
  • Communicate effectively. Your responses need to go much further than what you have to offer; they should express how your qualifications will benefit the organization
  • Anticipate and prepare responses to common interview questions. Prepare commercial-like scripts to help prepare for the interview.
  • Brand yourself well through professionally written correspondence, effective communication skills, and proper etiquette throughout the entire interview process
  • Keep in mind that interviews are a two-way street. For the candidate, an interview helps determine if the job and company will be the right fit for the candidate as well, so asking the right questions is essential.

It takes practice for candidates to become more confident and skilled with interviewing. Enhance your interviewing skills by using InterviewStream. InterviewStream allows you to conduct a mock interview from any Web-accessible computer with a webcam. Interview answers are saved in InterviewStream account where you can review or send them to a career advisor to discuss your results. Students can also contact the Career Center to sign up to use its web-cam accessible room.

Interview success is largely dependent on how well you convey that you are the right candidate for the job. Take advantage of the helpful career resources available at the Career Center, such as meeting with your career advisor, viewing the Career Resource Guide, attending walk-in hours, requesting free business cards, and more. Be successful at your next interview by visiting the Career Center.