Let’s Get to Interviewing

By: Amber McCraw, Assistant Director of Career Services, School of Communications

As our iMedia students are winding down their semester, most of them are thinking about the future. Where will they relocate to and what paths will their careers take? Well, that process of looking towards the future includes interviewing for those future positions that can often for intimidating. In preparation for mock interviews with our students next week, I wanted to provide some quick interviewing tips.

  • Research the company you are interviewing with and the position you are interviewing for. Check the company’s social media pages, website, and even recent news articles to prepare yourself for the interview. You can also speak with any Elon alums or connections who currently work at the company.
  • Remember the interview begins the moment you walk into the office, onto campus, into the building, etc. Be kind to everyone you meet and assume that everyone has a say in whether or not you will be hired.
  • Practice shaking hands with a friend. A firm handshake and good eye contact make a great first impression.
  • Know what skills, accomplishments, and stories you want to highlight throughout the process. Find ways to incorporate those into the answers you provide.
  • When responding to questions, use the STAR method to make sure you’ve provided enough content. Situation, Task, Action, Result. This is particularly applicable to behavioral questions, which usually ask you to refer back to a specific example from your past behavior.
  • Generally, a response to a question should be between 20 seconds and 2 minutes. Use this rule to ensure you don’t leave employers wanting more in your answer nor do you talk so much that they zone out.
  • Don’t forget that you are also interviewing the employer to make sure it is the right fit for you. Always come prepared with questions to ask at the end of an interview. 3 is generally a good number, but you’ll want to have more prepared in case they answer some of them throughout the interview.
  • Always, always send a thank you note (preferably in the form of an email so it will reach them quickly) within 24 hours of the interview. Make sure to mention something specific from the interview to tailor the note.
  • There are many different forms of interviewing: in-person, over the phone, via skype, or even virtual interviewing, which is becoming more popular. Stop by my office in McEwen 101 C or call 336.278.6538 to make an appointment if you have any questions and/or need to prepare for an interview.

Don’t forget to breathe and relax. You have all of the skills necessary to succeed and all of the accomplishments needed to stand out from the crowd. Go rock those interviews!!

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About Amber McCraw

Amber McCraw serves as a the Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications. Previously, she served as a Career Advising fellow for the 2014-2015 academic year. Before arriving at Elon, she earned an M. Ed. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia where she worked in Residence Life. Prior to UGA, Amber attended NC State, leaving with a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Psychology. As an advisor, she works with students from all majors to help them set and reach their career goals. This includes working with students to update their resumes, practice their interviewing skills, develop their professional brand via LinkedIn, and provide them with resources for the internship and job search.

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