How to Prepare for an Interview (and Snag the Job)

A few months ago, when school was still in session, I received an email about a job opportunity with a major convention holding company this coming fall. I quickly responded to the call with a resume and email-cover letter, and spent the next few weeks talking with the person in charge of hiring for the temp job; also known as following up and showing you are very interested in working for them.

While I was quite excited when they called me to set up an interview, I was even more thrilled when I ended up getting hired.

Here are some things I did to snag the position…
*Note: I cannot say these tips will work with every interviewer, but they worked this time for me.

1. CREATE A SITUATION ANALYSIS | Make sure they know you have spent the time looking into their company. Don’t just read the about section of their website so you know they are a fashion brand… find out what their customers are saying about them via twitter and product ratings; find their press releases to see what the have announced recently; and find industry news to see what top editors are saying about their products.

Copy any key topics and past them into a word document, then add a question, comment, or idea you have about this topic. Your interviewer will be impressed that you know what is going on with their company, and will be even more impressed that you are able to discuss the topic with them. Bring this to the interview and when they ask you if you have questions, refer to it. Don’t ask a million, ask the ones that make the most sense after talking with them for awhile.

2. TELL THEM HOW YOU WILL ADD VALUE TO THE COMPANY | I left this interview realizing that instead of talking most of the time, the interviewers spent time reacting to my questions and ideas that expanded on elements that had touched in the position overview.

3. SHOW ENTHUSIASM OR DON’T GO | Do not go to an interview if you do not care one bit about what you will be doing. If you absolutely need the job for other reasons, find something you do like (even if it is so minor its silly). You need to show you are excited, passionate, and that you enjoy learning about what it is you might be doing in the position.

4. ASK THEM FOR THE JOB | Before you go, ask for the job you are interviewing for. I had a guest speaker come into my marketing class last year that is a higher-up at a HUGE consumer packaged goods company… he said out of 100+ candidates he had interviewed (at his level), only three people had asked for the job at the end of the interview… all three were hired. He said, “Do not be obnoxious, just say, I want this job, and I look forward to hearing from you on (date they said they will be announcing the new hire).”


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