Congratulations on your interview invitation! This is a wonderful opportunity for the hiring team to get to know you better and assess your fit with the role, the company and the culture. Just as important, it is your chance to evaluate the company’s fit for you. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the interview and make a strong impression:
- Be ready to discuss your strengths, expertise and any experience that appears on your resume.
- Review what you know, such as the job description. Look online for websites, blogs and other online communities related to the group or position.
- Come prepared with 3 to 5 meaningful questions for your interviewers. Questions demonstrate your level of understanding, your interests and your passions—and help you learn about the company. So don’t hold back.
- Interviewing can be intense both physically and mentally. To be at your best on interview day, make sure you are well-rested.
- Dress comfortably. We’re interested in you, not what you wear.
- Relax and be yourself. It’s easier said than done, but we want to meet the real you.
- We’re interested in how your mind works. Be ready to show your thinking and explain how you came up with a solution to a technical issue, design question, or problem-solving puzzle.
- Remember, your interview is an opportunity for you to get to know us and for us to get to know you. Ask questions. Listen. Learn.
- A few days before the interview, spend some time learning about the company’s mission, vision, values, business focus and culture. You can learn a lot about the company by visiting the company website and social media channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube & Glassdoor). While you’re there, make sure to follow the company on the social sites to stay connected.
- If you have multiple interviews, bring a snack in case you get hungry. For in-person interviews, ask one of the interviewers for a beverage to stay refreshed.
- Be prepared to talk about yourself during the interview, highlighting your experiences, strengths, career aspirations and what makes you a strong candidate for the position and the company. Tactfully demonstrate what you have learned about the company from all of your research. Here are some questions to ask yourself before the interview:
- What are your short, mid and long-term career aspirations?
- Do you understand the position for which you are applying?
- What are your weaknesses and why? What are you actively doing to address these weaknesses?
- Most interviews will include behavioral-type questions, which ask candidates to describe past experiences. This method is based on the belief that past demonstrations of behavior helps predict future behavior. Think about key projects, situations and stories that you can use during the interview and follow the STAR (Situation- summarize the situation, Task- highlight what task you needed to address, Action- describe the action that you took, Result- describe the outcome of the action) method. Give credit to others where it is due, but do not forget to highlight your individual actions and contributions. To get a sample list of behavior-type questions, simply search for “behavioral interview questions.”
- Remain relaxed and be yourself. Remember that you would not be invited for the interview if your application and resume didn’t already trigger the interest of the interview team. We want to get to know the real you, just as you want to understand what it’s truly like to work at the company.
- When asked a question, take your time in considering your response before delivering a composed answer. Some silence between the question and answer is typical. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can always say, “Please give me a minute to think about how best to answer your question.”
- Communicate during the interview why you are interested in the position and working for the company. Be prepared to ask questions. Remember, you are interviewing the team and company to assess how well it aligns with your career aspirations. Learning how the position aligns with your expectations, the culture within the team and organization, opportunities for long-term career growth and development opportunities will allow you to determine if the position is your top choice. Prepare between three to five questions to ask during the interview.
- You will likely meet your potential work team during the interview. Remember, these individuals can provide the best information on what it’s really like to work within the group and for the company. Consider reviewing the team’s LinkedIn profile before the interview so that you can better target your answers and questions.
- Practice! Think about the questions that are typically asked during an interview and how you would respond. If this is your first interview, have a friend ask you some questions and provide feedback.
- How you follow up after an interview can help to distinguish you from the other applicants. At the end of the interview, do not forget to ask for a business card so you can send a thank-you email within 24 hours.
- Ensure that you have a quiet place with strong cell phone reception. Scheduling a conference room at a local library or hotel can provide a well-suited environment.
- Consider using a headset with your phone so that you can take notes and reduce the stress on your arm when holding the phone for an extended period.
- Before your interview, write down a list of attributes that you would like to communicate during this initial interview as well as questions that you would like to ask.
- Approximately 10 minutes before your interview set up your workspace. Consider having a pen, notepad, a glass of water, the list of attributes and questions and a copy of the job description for the position you are being interviewed. Phone interviews also provide the opportunity to for you to reference personal materials—have your resume handy and a list of accomplishments ready!
- If using a conference number, begin dialing in approximately one minute before your interview so that you are ready to start on time. Allot 10 to 15 minutes after the scheduled interview in case the interview goes passed the scheduled time, for summarizing your thoughts and recording questions you would like to ask during the next interview.
When scheduling your interview with the recruiter or hiring manager, determine:
- Where will you meet during the day of the interview? Are there any specific instructions for where to park or for checking in with security? Approximately how early should you arrive before the interview?
- If you will be interviewing at a plant location, are there any safety considerations such as the need to wear boots or a long-sleeved shirt?
- What level of dress is typical for the location and position you are interviewing for? If you are not sure, do not hesitate to ask!
- If traveling for the interview, will associated costs be reimbursed and what you will need to document to receive the reimbursement?
- During winter months, there is a possibility that inclement weather will create unsafe travel conditions. Safety is the first priority. An interview can easily be rescheduled if conditions do not allow for safe travel. The company and hiring team’s first priority is making sure that you arrive at the interview location and then back home safely. Contact your hiring manager or recruiter if you have any concerns regarding the weather.
- Plan to arrive approximately 20 to 30 minutes before your scheduled interview to allow time to park, check in with security and travel to the interview room. This extra time may also be beneficial in case you have difficulty finding your way to the location.
- Turn off your cell phone or use the silent setting.
- Bring a few copies of your resume and a notepad to take notes.
Your attire should support your image and the brand that you are trying to communicate to the interview team. The feedback provided by the hiring manager or recruiters and the type of job you are interviewing for should inform the level of dress. You want to present yourself well, but at the same time not be overdressed.
- Interviews can be stressful, dress comfortably so that you can focus on the questions being asked. You typically should dress one level above what is worn on a daily basis at the company. For example, if the typical dress is business casual, you could wear a sport coat or shirt and tie for men and a casual suit or dress pants and blouse for women.
- Your attire should fit well and be clean.
- If wearing jewelry or accessories, avoid items that make noise or could otherwise be distracting to the interview team.
- For additional tips regarding what to wear, advice can be found through an internet search.
- Make a strong and culturally appropriate first impression
- If one of the interviews occurs over a meal, select food options that are easy to eat and less likely to be messy.
And, if you’re a U.S. Veteran looking for a job at Dow, check out our supplemental tips for finding a career.
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