I am UIC: Own your interview
I know how nerve-wracking interviews can be. Even through I’ve sat in the interviewee chair a couple of times, I still enter panic mode. I get the sweaty palms, the racing heart, and my thoughts revolve around two questions: What questions are they going to ask me? And how should I answer them?
If you feel this way, here is what you can do to help alleviate the nervousness and feel more prepared when walking into a job/internship position interview:
Practice, practice, practice! Mock interviews are an important part of the preparation process. If you’ve never experienced a real job interview, a mock interview at UIC Career Services can let you in on what that’s like, down to the attire. Last week I had a mock interview with them, and I walked out feeling much more prepared for the job-hunting world I’ll be entering after graduating in May.
A mock interview is based on the job/internship position you’ve written your cover letter and résumé on; therefore, you get to find out the type of questions you’d be asked by a real employer in that specific industry. After you have finished, your interviewer goes through each question and each one of your answers, giving you their evaluations, the reasons behind them and feedback to help you improve.
I guarantee that mock interviews will help you feel much more prepared and comfortable with the interview process.
Do your research
Do not walk into an interview without any knowledge of the company or organization you applied for. Do as much research about its history, mission, staff, and accomplishments. Not only will you show employers your strong interest in working or interning with their team, but it will also be easier to answer any questions they may ask you.
Once you’ve had a mock interview where you received feedback and you have your research locked down, just relax and be yourself. There is no need to walk into the interview trying to act as someone you are not. An interview should be more of a conversation, where you’re showing the employer more than your set of skills and work experience. You’re showing them the type of person you are so it’s best to be transparent. Your true personality may be the perfect match for the job; you don’t want to miss that opportunity.
Michelle García De La Vega is a senior double majoring in communications and Spanish. Among the things she loves doing most are drinking coffee and laughing. The moments she appreciates most in life involve family, friends, music, warm weather and experiential learning. Her goal is to travel someplace new every year and she aspires to one day be a conduit of news for her community.