Ace your Interview!

InterviewI recently participated in an interview for a position I highly desired. I conducted a lot of research and utilized many resources in order to prepare myself for the challenges of the interview. The interview process can be very stressful and is vital for obtaining your career goals. Preparing yourself for an interview is the best way to ensure you will provide an optimal demonstration of your professionalism and competencies to your potential employer.  It is important that you know how to match your skills, knowledge, and experience with that of the company’s desires. There are many ways to plan for an interview and overcome a lot of the challenges involved with the experience.

Your Pitch

One way to start preparing for the interview is to evaluate your accomplishments and the professional qualities you gained from them.This concept was the most challenging aspect to me. After many revisions, I finally established a “30 second commercial” of myself that I could present to my interviewer. The outcome of this process was extremely effective. So develop a brief “pitch” of yourself and what you have accomplished. This pitch will prepare you for the interviewers question “ So tell me about yourself…”. In your pitch try to steer away from too much personal experiences and instead focus on your work ethic and accomplishments.  Be sure to include a few strengths that you possess. You can also include a few areas where you can improve, for this question will inevitably be asked at some point in the interview. This will show that you are not afraid to admit your shortcomings and will also display an acknowledgment of your weaknesses and your desire to improve upon them.

Be the Interviewer…

Along with preparing a pitch, you should also do some research on common interview questions. Many tips can be found on YouTube. Write out a list of questions that you might ask an interviewee if you were the hiring manager. By doing this you will likely hear some of the same questions in the actual interview and will be well prepared to answer them with confidence. Check out this video on some common interview questions.

Know your Stuff!

Finally, be sure to do your homework on the company you are trying to obtain employment with. I started by looking up the CEO of the company I was applying for and learned about his intentions and overall goals of his mission. It is a good idea to look at the most recent letter to the shareholders to identify what kind of goals they are setting and how they plan to achieve them. This will provide you with an arsenal of questions to ask your interviewer and demonstrate your knowledge of the company.  Write out a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Remember you are interested in a position with them but you also want to convince them that they would benefit greatly by having you as an asset so communicate with conviction and confidence. Good luck!

Shane Parker is a student at the University of South Florida. It is his goal to develop a career in finance.


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