Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

How to Best Prepare for an Interview

This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Simon Zhang ‘21.

 You must be anxious after receiving the interview scheduling email. Relax, breathe, and congratulate yourself because you just passed the first step in finding a job! However, do not relax yet. The second step is the interview and it is one of the most important aspects of your job portfolio because it can help you stand out from a crowd. 

Here are some tips on preparing for your interview:

  1. Look through the position description one more time. Assuming that you have applied to more than one job position, you might get mixed up with all the different jobs. Researching and learning more about the position can help you showcase your skills that best fit the job description because an employer will look for someone who will be the most suited for the job and the company. 
  2. Getting to know the employer through thorough research on LinkedIn, company website, and social media accounts can surprise the employer. If you can name drop information or current events about the company, it shows that you are engaged and interested in what the company has to offer. An employer will greatly appreciate those who put in the time to get to know the company than those who apply for the job just for the sake of finding a job. Another great way of learning about an employer is reading the most recent letter to shareholders from the CEO. These are usually very extensive but can give you tons of recent information about the company.
  3. Different firms offer different interviews so it is necessary for you to find out what type of interview the firm will conduct. For example, consulting firms will give case studies for you to analyze on the spot so going to the Career Center for Interview Prep is crucial. The Career Center has many resources that come from alumni who work there or their own in-depth research about the different types of interviews. We have seen that most of the on-campus interviewers are alumni from the school. 
  4. Go through the common interview questions. Some common interview questions are: why did you apply to this firm, what is your greatest weakness, tell me about yourself, etc. Giving well-thought-out responses can put you at an advantage compared to other candidates. Keep in mind that you should not be afraid of saying your greatest weakness because you can always show the steps you are doing to improve yourself. This will display that you are not afraid of your weaknesses and are willing to always improve yourself.