Jasek: Job Interview? Here’s What you Need to Know

This week, senior Elizabeth Jasek shares her tips on how to best prepare for a job interview. - Photo via Pixabay.com

Many graduating seniors will, inevitably, encounter the interview process as they attempt to secure a job in the future. Part of me wishes that Rowan offered an Interview 101 course because it can be quite intimidating and stressful. 

Have no fear though, I’m here to offer you guidance through the advice I have received from Rowan alum Briana Lisciandrello, as well as my personal experience, having worked two separate jobs provided through Rowan. 

An Effective Resume

According to AMCAT, there are three types of resumes: chronological, functional/skills-based and hybrid. The most effective resume for an interview is a hybrid format, combining both, the chronological- and functional-based formats to display a variety of your experience and knowledge.

Your resume should begin with your contact details, such as your full name, phone number and email address, followed by a “Skills summary” and “Certifications & Awards” section. This is where you’ll describe your professional talents and what makes you stand out from other candidates. 

Next, you’ll want to include your work experience and, lastly, your educational experience. 

“Bring a physical copy of your resume to the interview. If you don’t have access to a printer, then email your resume to the interviewer right before the interview,” Lisciandrello said. 

Lisciandrello also mentioned that if the interview is on Zoom, make sure to have a neutral, clean computer background in case the interviewer asks you to share your screen in order to review your resume. 

Also, add a page of references to the resume and bring it to the interview. Some employers ask for references. Still, you’ll want to at least offer it at the end of the interview.  

Do Your Research

Before walking into the interview, sit down and do some research on the company that is interviewing you. Explore the homepage of their website, and find out about the company’s history and core values. This will help you to better engage in conversation with the interviewer and look more interested in the position. 

There is also the possibility that the interviewer will ask you about any prior knowledge that you may have of the company. Do not sit there in awkward silence, simply because you weren’t prepared and didn’t do enough research on the company. Have some facts and conversation topics in mind prior to the interview.

Ask Questions 

This goes hand-in-hand with doing research beforehand. As you explore the company, write down any questions that you have. Some questions could include:

  • “What does success look like in this position?” 
  • “What characteristics do you look for in employees to represent the company’s core values?”
  • “What’s your favorite aspect of working for this company?”
  • “Who will I be working most closely with?”

Dress Appropriately

“Dress to impress. First impressions matter. Dress as if you were going to a sacred place of worship or your grandparent’s house,” Lisciandrello said.

According to The Balance Careers, job interviews call for business attire. Men should wear a suit jacket and slacks with a button-down shirt. If you’re feeling jazzy, add a tie to the outfit. 

Women are suggested to wear dress pants with a neutral colored shirt or blouse. Avoid bright colors, since they can be distracting. If you want to make a statement, consider wearing a modest dress. 

Whether the interview is in-person or over Zoom, it can be a nerve-racking process. But confidence is key, so know your value and what you bring to the table. Be a team player, and fight for the position you aspire to fulfill. At the end of the day, you must be your greatest advocate when you walk into that interview room. You’ve got this. 

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