A group of professionals talk at a conference table.

Being prepared for a job interview can make all the difference. The following tips will help get you ready to make your best impression.

  1. Do your research on the organization to be fully prepared to answer, “what do you know about us and the position?” Visit the website, read related articles, know the organizational structure and programs, and view recent events.
  2. Dress professionally and be prepared. Bring a copy of your resume and portfolio
  3. Show up early. You want to arrive at the interview location 5-10 minutes early to greet potential colleagues at the front office and settle in to wait for the interviewer to be ready to meet with you. This shows that you respect their time and are professional. Be ready to shake their hand and thank them for meeting with you.
  4. Know how to pitch your talents. Nearly every interviewer asks, “so, tell me about yourself and why you applied for this position.” This is your time to paraphrase your story or pitch. Be creative and genuine. Start with an anecdote about why you wanted to study your field. For example, I grew up in Boston and when I was a kid here, I always knew I wanted to do something with computers. In my basement, I wired three computers together so my friends and I could play one of the games I created. It was simple enough, but using technology to problem solve has always been fascinating to me. So, I studied computer programming at BU where I got the opportunity to intern at Microsoft. I found this position through one of my mentors there, insert name, and we both thought it would be the perfect fit because I am proficient in Python and am excited to use my background in…
  5. Be prepared for common interview questions.
    1. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
      Have an answer ready for both. Consider using a Myers Brigg or Jong personality test so you are fully prepared to discuss this. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. No one is perfect, but the interviewer will want to see that you can take constructive criticism and are actively improving.
    2. Why do you want this job?
      Remember to highlight your strengths, and how the position can help you gain more skills. You can also talk about company culture and the mission behind the organization. Perhaps, the app streamlines a process that would save millions of dollars and also prevents environmental degradation.
    3. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
      Your interviewer knows that this is a projection and everyone’s career courses change over time but demonstrate that you have preliminary goals for yourself. For example, I hope to gain more experience in my field to manage a team someday and follow the creation of a project from start to finish and drive sales considerably before perhaps, taking on more of a longer-term leadership position. I see this as a perfect starting point.
  6. Practice! Ask mentors, friends, family or other alumni to ask you common interview questions. Ask them for feedback to improve each answer. You will become more relaxed and at ease when the day of the interview arrives.