We always hear tips about how to act during an interview and in fact my last blog post was just that. Though many people found it to be helpful, I felt like I needed to take it one-step further. Instead of just having a montage of helpful tips I decided to speak directly with the person that has the final decision during this process, the Interviewer. Who better to ask, right? The Interviewer holds the power and they are the ones who conduct countless interviews and fill the positions. Recently, I met with Amber Rice, an account associate for Noble Strategic Partners, a public affairs firm in Austin, Texas. Amber is currently conducting interviews for intern positions and spoke with me about her experience during this process.
Emailing the company: In the body of your email with your application include cover letter in the email or a brief pitch of why you should be considered for the position. Do not just put “Resumé is attached.” Make sure your name is in the subject line and that your name is also in the title of the file you are attaching. “We have multiple resumés of potential candidates and you might have 30 that all say ‘resumé’ in which you then have to individually open to figure out which one belongs to who.” (Make their job a little easier*)
What you should bring to an interview: It is always good to bring several copies of your resumé and writing samples, even if the hiring manager did not ask for them they are good to share if needed. You can have a link in your resumé to your blog, and when asked about writing skills you can bring it up at that time.*
#1 Interview Tip: Amber felt that the absolute Best thing to do during an interview is to Always Relate your job experience back to the position you are applying for whether it is related to the industry or not, it is important to make a connection between the two.
#1 Pet Peeve: Not showing interest. Amber shared that when some potential candidates come in, “They are just wanting any PR job, not interested in what we do and not prepared/understanding what we do.”
Everyone says dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. Apparently it happens too many times where “candidates will come in wearing something they would wear to class, for example jeans. Always wear at least business casual, better to be over dressed rather than under dressed.”
50/50 Rule: Interview should not be all about you. Every time you say something about yourself Always relate it back to the company.
Have questions prepared: Amber shared that if she was in the interviewee’s position she would ask, “What is a typical day like?” or “What social media tools do you/the company use?” It’s great to be specific. The most impressive questions that a potential intern asked was, “What is the biggest obstacle currently facing the company and how would I as an intern be able to help solve this issue?” This sent the message that they cared about the company and were already taking the initiative to try and offer what they can to the company in order to help everyone prosper.
Follow-up: Always send a thank-you email/or card either that day or next. Also, always realize that if the hiring manager does not get back to you quickly that they are probably busy with other things (don’t freakout). Amber did say that it is appropriate to ask after the interview/during when you will be hearing back if they do not mention the timeline to you.
Hope these tips help you during your interview process! The pointers Amber offered were very beneficial for myself and I know I will be applying this advice in the near future. Any other helpful tips you would add to the list?