Senior Series: Interviewing
Advice from an Employer to Help You Land the Job
When a candidate is invited for an interview, I’m looking at how the candidate’s background coincides with the position’s responsibilities, whether it’s through experience or skills they’ve gained in school. I’m also looking at the candidate’s level of passion – tone of voice communicates what they do or don’t know about the company and the role, as well as their confidence.
It is completely natural to feel nervous prior to an interview, but when you prepare yourself, you will be more self-assured. Look at the position’s job description and be able to convey to the interviewer how you meet each responsibility.
Applicants, especially at the entry level, can likely expect to hear the following “generic” questions and should have responses ready prior to the interview:
- What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?
- What do you look for in a company and why do you want to join our company?
- What makes you stand out from other candidates?
- What are your future goals?
- How do you prioritize and know what task is the top priority?
The biggest mistakes I’ve seen interviewees make is that they do not elaborate on their responses. Yes or no responses are not sufficient. Even if you have not had much work experience yet, think about other experiences (school, volunteering, extracurricular activities) that have made you ready for the work force. Be ready to tell stories about your skills & experiences and talk about how they are relevant to the role you’re applying for!
My favorite question for a candidate to ask the interviewer is: What else can I tell you about myself or background that would make me the right candidate for this role?
After an interview, write a thank you note via email. And if you find out you don’t get the job, it’s completely suitable to ask for feedback so that you nail the next one! Good luck!
Jamie Board, Class of 2002
Global Mobility Analyst, Firmwide Human Resources at Gensler