An interview is your chance to convince a potential employer that you possess the knowledge, skills, and motivation they need to move the company toward its strategic goals. Interviews also allow you to discern whether or not a particular position is a good fit for you.
To make the most of each interview, you need to do your homework. Here are the steps you can take to prepare for your interview:
Do Your Research
- It’s important to show interest in both the position and the organization. When an interviewer asks, “Why do you want to work here?”, your answer should demonstrate a good understanding of the position as well as the organization's values and culture.
- In addition to using web resources like Reference USA to research employers, you can also use BRUnet to speak to Brown alum that work in the career field you’re targeting or – sometimes – the specific employer with whom you’re interviewing.
Think About What you Have to Offer
- Review your resume and cover letter to remind yourself what you told the employer about your background and qualifications.
- Re-read the job description and note of what skills and qualities the company seeks. For each one, look at your resume and ask yourself:
- What experiences do I have that demonstrate I have that specific skill or quality?
- What example from that experience can I give that best demonstrates this quality or skill?
Successful candidates avoid general responses ("I am hard working, good with people, etc.") and provide specific examples that illustrate the skills valued by the interviewer.
Practice Your Pitch
- Start by reviewing our interviewing tip sheet and online workshop.
- Schedule a mock interview with a CareerLAB advisor. Come to this appointment well-groomed and wearing exactly what you plan to wear to the interview.
- In your mock interview, you will practice responding to common interview questions. Your advisor will give you feedback on the content, pace, and length of your answers. We'll also provide you with a helpful critique of your outfit and your overall body language.