Interview Tips from the Avenue Scholars Team

Kathy McGauvran and Allie Thompson from our Business Outreach Team share valuable interview tips to leave a lasting impression and help you land a job offer. Kathy is a Business Outreach Coordinator and Allie is an Internship Coordinator for Intern Omaha.

Kathy McGauvran

Allie Thompson

What is the best way to prepare for an interview?

ALLIE: Preparing for your interview is just as important as the interview itself, so do your research. Research the organization’s mission statement and values, company culture, growth, etc. Get as much information about the organization as you can.

KATHY: Go the company’s “About Us” page and write down a couple of things about the company so you will be ready for the question, “so what do you know about this company?” This is also a great time to write down the company’s address and get directions if you are doing an in-person interview.

How should I prepare differently for different types of interviews?

KATHY: If it’s a phone or video interview, make sure your device is fully charged, you are in a quiet place, and you have strong phone reception or internet connection. For video interviews, have the video link ready and log on 5 minutes early with your video screen on so they can see your face. Make sure you have an appropriate and simple background screen. For in person interviews, I recommend driving to the location the day before to make sure you have the right location. It’s also a good idea to bring 3 copies of your resume, a pen, and a notebook.

What type of interview questions can I expect?

ALLIE: Potential employers want to know specifics about your skills and knowledge. Utilizing the “PAR” method works in giving specific examples. PAR stands for Problem, Actions, Result. Start out by answering the question with a specific PROBLEM you solved. Then state the ACTIONS you took in solving the problem and finally explain the RESULT. Sometimes this is also referred to as STAR (Situation, Task, Action Result). Use this method when asked behavioral questions like “tell me a time when…” or “provide an example of…”

What type of interview questions should I ask?

ALLIE: The interview is just as much an opportunity for you to get to know the company and the job as it is for them to get to know you. Ask specific questions about the job you are applying for and the company culture. Some questions you could ask are:

“What does work/life balance look like here?”

“What opportunities are there for professional growth?”

“Why is this current position open?”

“What traits do you look for in this position?”

How can I leave a lasting impression during my interview?

KATHY: You can have a successful interview by smiling, making eye contact, and being positive. Don’t forget the little things like no gum, no perfume or cologne if in person, and silencing your phone if applicable. Most importantly, write down who you are interviewing with or ask for a business card so you can thank the interviewer for their time. The day after the interview, follow up with a thank you note or email.

We hope these interview tips help you feel relaxed and prepared for your next interview! Remember to be yourself, take a deep breath, and have fun.

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