What I have learned about interviewing

The past couple weeks have been insane for me. I have been having in person and over the phone interviews for 3 weeks now, and it is beginning to pay off as I am invited to final round interviews with some amazing companies. I have spent a large portion of my time preparing for interviews by talking with people who have landed great internships, and I learned a few tips along the way that have really helped me.

I have realized that the most important part of an interview is the very beginning and the very end. Your “elevator pitch,” or the answer to the question, “tell me about yourself,” is crucial in the beginning. After sharing my pitch with several people, students and professionals, I have refined it down to a few key parts. You must include why what you are sharing is of value to them. So if you share that you interned before at a certain company, share one thing you learned, and why that would be of value to who you are interviewing with. Including the why in my introduction has really helped me progress in each interview process.

Closing the interview is just as important as establishing a great first impression. At the end of each interview I have had, they always ask, “do you have any questions for us?” This is your time to shine harder than ever. You must come with at least 3 great questions to ask the interviewers. It could be general, like “what made you interested in working for _____,” or specific. Whatever it is, make sure you have them locked and loaded beforehand so that you can end the interview with them thinking, “wow, that candidate really impressed me.” I have talked to several close friends who are interviewing, and the ones you kill it in, you can feel that the interview is going fantastic, and even more importantly, you can feel it when it is going terrible. Even if you don’t do as well as you hoped during the behavioral or technical questions, you can control the beginning and the ending. Have you noticed the same thing in your interviews? Anything you agree or disagree with? Love the feedback.