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New Grads: Have a Job Interview? Here’s How to Prepare

Posted May 22, 2013

New Grad Job Interview

Got a job interview? Congrats – but it’s not celebration time yet. It’s prep time! Check out the following interview prep tips and resources below and get cramming. With good preparation – along with a little luck – you can convert that interview into a job offer.

1. Research … A lot

Solid research is the foundation of a successful job interview. Focus your efforts on the company and its overall industry. CareerBliss CEO Heidi Golledge advises candidates to be so well versed in a prospective employer’s product, service, mission that they are able to sell it to the interviewer.

Among other things, you should know:

  • What the company does
  • What the company has done lately
  • The company’s place in the industry and challenges it may face
  • The company’s culture and what it is proud of (check official blogs and social media)
  • Challenges, changes faced by the whole industry

Also, don’t forget to check out company reviews submitted by employees!

2. Think about Your Answers

There are plenty of common questions you may be asked during your job interview. To name just a few:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What would you want to accomplish in your first 90 days?
  • What are you career goals?

Think about how you will answer such questions before the interview (as described in point 3, some of those questions are best addressed with anecdotes).

Here are some more resources for preparing answers to interview questions:

6 Tough Interview Questions Revealed by Employers

How to Answer Tough Job Interview Questions

The Secret to Answering Negative Interview Questions: Stay Positive

3. Know Your Stories

In addition to coming up with answers to common job interview questions, be prepared to tell stories about yourself at the interview. Well-crafted – and true, of course! – career stories will help you show what kind of employee you would be.

Even if you don’t have any professional experience, you can draw from your experiences in extracurricular activities, internships, volunteer work and so on. Remember, all of your stories should end on a positive note and demonstrate growth, learning and improvement.

Here are some stories you should be ready to tell:

  • Mistake/failure
  • Difficult situation
  • Disagreement with superior
  • Success
  • Collaboration

Check out 5 Career Stories You Need to Know for Your Next Job Interview for more info on how to craft each of those stories.

4. Have Smart Questions

Along with your answers and stories, you will be judged by your questions. Asking smart questions demonstrates that you are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and interested in finding a good match.

“Questions help me see how the person thinks, how thorough he or she is, how curious, how truly interested in finding the right position,” Denise Altman, president of the Altman Initiative Group, once told CareerBliss.

Check out Job Interview Advice: You Will be Judged by Your Questions for more info and sample questions.

5. Mind the Basics

Avoid squandering all your prep by making a silly mistake.

Check out 5 Tales of Incredibly Awkward Job Interviews for some cautionary tales.

Check out more New Grad Career Guide posts

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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