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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Interviewing Tips for Your Dream Job

April 12, 2022

You have landed an interview for your dream job. Be proud and allow yourself to be excited for the opportunity. With your excitement should come a desire to ace the upcoming interview, and to do so, your work begins long before the actual interview.

Pre-Interview Research

There is a lot to do before the interview. Learning everything you can about the company in which you are interviewing will help you relate to the interviewers. You can personalize your answers by connecting your answers to those like the company.

For instance, if they ask you to define your strengths, you can answer by saying,

“I enjoy helping others, which I notice is one of the core principals of this company.”

Researching each of the people on the interview committee will be helpful also. You can tailor your answers to include the strengths of the committee members. This will show the committee you know how to prepare.

Pre-Interview Practice

Practicing how you will respond to questions will set you up for success in an interview. While you cannot predict which questions will be asked, there are ordinary questions to help you practice. Many interviewers will want you to discuss your strengths and weaknesses, what you can bring to the company, and why this is your dream job.

Make an appointment with your Career Services Advisor to complete a practice Mock Interview before you go an any interviews.  Often time, our Team has worked with these companies before and may be familiar with the types of questions they ask and their interview process.  The more prepared you can be, the better you will feel walking into that interview.

Pre-Interview Preparation

Be prepared before the interview. What you wear does make a difference. You want to look your best. This is your dream job, after all. Professional attire tells them you take pride in your appearance. This can also tell them you will take pride in how you work for their company. Wear your interview attire to meet your Career Services Advisor when you complete your Mock interview.  This way, you can both discuss the best look for the interview.

Clean up your social media profiles. Organizations may be looking at online profiles to see what you do in your spare time. For example, if you share pictures of your volunteer work, you could become more attractive to the hiring manager. You only get one chance to make a first impression so you want to promote what is positive and leave anything out of your social media that could leave a negative impact on any potential employers.

Make extra copies of your portfolio to take along with you just in case they need extras. Your portfolio should consist of your resume, professional reference page, copies of any certifications you have earned and any letters of recommendations you have from previous employers or instructors.  You may also include any proof of volunteer work.

During the Interview

Arrive early to your interview by at least ten minutes. Be polite, professional and shake hands with everyone. In addition, sit up straight, listen well to what the members are saying, and do not interrupt. Be able to reflect what you are learning from the committee about the job.

When answering questions, answer as concisely as possible. Don’t take ten minutes to answer a question and do your best not to go off course, rambling about topics unrelated to the interview questions.

Do not take your cell phone into the interview. If you must take it in, turn it completely off. If you are distracted by the ring or vibrations of your cell phones, this will not impress company members.

Remaining calm during an interview is key. Keep in mind that even though this seems like a dream job, it is not the only dream job out there. Remind yourself that it is not the end of the world if you do not land the job. Remembering this can help lower your anxieties because you are not placing all your bets on this one job.

Take time before you answer questions. Answering rapidly can come across as nervous. You want to get the answers right, not fast. Have questions ready so that when they ask you if you have questions, you have them.

Do not ask questions about vacation pay or how often you can take leave. This will tell them you are already thinking about not working. Instead, ask why the position is open, how your performance will be evaluated and the management and culture of the organization.

If you find yourself feeling excited about the job, don’t be afraid to let the committee see your excitement. Your enthusiasm will impress them, if you don’t overdo it.

Post-Interview with the Company

Within 24 hours of your interview, you want to write a Thank You note to each person who was on your interview committee.  You can do this with a hand-written note that you can drop off after the interview or with a well written email.  Contact your Career Services Advisor for assistance in writing the perfect Thank you Note!

Following up on the results of your interview is also very important.  You will want to call or email to check in on the status of your interview.  This is also another opportunity you have to utilize your Career Services Advisor, as we will often times be following up as well to see what the status of the position is and when a hiring decision will be made.

Finding employment is a Team Effort and we will be here to support you every step of the way!

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