5 Steps to a Great Interview

Want to know the Steps to a Great Interview? Read on!

Spring is always a fun time because it is interview season! Many recent grads or members of the work force are looking for a job or opportunity. The crucial part of the job search? Nailing the interview. Here are a few steps to help you prepare to nail that interview:


1. Research the Company

Before the interview, research the company you are interviewing for. Start with the companies website and read the company’s mission statement; learn about the executives or leaders in the organization; and fully comprehend the company’s final product or service. Many companies also have various branches of the company or philanthropic wings; learn about all the facets of the company. Additional research can include the stock prices of the company; their competitors; and any recent news of the company’s financials.


2.  Research your Position

Many positions in the job market share similar job tasks specific to the position and industry. Using any search engine or job board, search for your position name, it can be as general or as specific as possible. For example, if you are interviewing to be a Beauty Marketing Analyst, try searching “Beauty Marketing Analyst”, “Marketing Analyst”, or “Analyst”. Though varying titles, these jobs will share job requirements or details on the role. Note down some of the similarities to help preface some of your answers in the interview.

3. Prepare:

Many interviews begin with this question: “So, tell me about yourself” or “Can you walk us through your resume?”. Don’t panic, these kinds of questions are standard. If you are a recent grad, start your script by stating your academic background, any internships or jobs in college, and end with any activities you were involved with. For those with more career experience, walk through your resume in reverse-chronological order; start with your more recent position, briefly describe your past positions, and conclude with your academic background.

There are also some great resources for common interview questions. Make a list of about 15 questions and have a script for each answer. The answers should always have a problem, the process you used to fix it, the skills used to fix it, and the solution. Even the smallest of tasks have a problem and a solution!

4. Practice:

Once you have your script with your background and questions, start practicing. You can practice by yourself or have a friend help out with a mock-interview! Time your interview to ensure you are within the limit (of your actual interview). When you are comfortable with your script, have someone critique your posture and delivery of the answers. The interview should sound like a conversation once your are comfortable. Practice makes perfect, so keep at it!


5. Interview Time:

The time is finally here! You have your suit (well-fitted and professional) on, your nails neatly done, and copies of your resume. Feel free to bring your script along for practice, but keep it hidden during the interview!

During your interview, be confident yet humble. You want this job because you are a good fit for the job and will prove to be an asset to the company. The more you can relate your skills to the position, the better.  Take some mental notes on anything interesting or any additional questions you may have for each interviewer.

Once done, thank the interviewers for their time and make sure you get their business card! The next day, it is very important to contact/e-mail each interviewer to thank them again and include a sentence about anything interesting during your interview with them (this is where your mental note comes in!).


There you go! You have gotten yourself through the interview process. Leave a comment below if you have any more interview advice!

Akshaya Vardhan

Akshaya Vardhan is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied Statistics. After receiving an M.S. in Statistics, Akshaya pursued her career as a Consultant with a Chicago Insurance company. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, and (lots of) food. Follow Akshaya on Twitter @AkshayaVardhan