Winter 2014 brought us extreme weather conditions, a busy hiring season, and some really bad interviews from soon to be college graduates. I don’t blame college students entirely for their bad interview behaviors (though some seemed to lack common sense, which is not something that can be taught), but more so that students are getting bad advice on how to prepare themselves for an interview and what questions to ask or not ask.
Related: 5 Things To Ask In A Job Interview
I will do my best to offer good, useful advice for graduates interviewing for their first “real job” out of college. First of all, before you get to the interview, do your research. The interview is not the time to ask, “What does the company do?” You should have Googled that before the interview. Clarification in specific areas is fine, but you should have some idea as to what the company does before the interview. Showing up ill prepared is not the first impression you want to make with a potential employer.
Here are three questions that an upcoming or recent college graduate should ask during an interview.
1. What kind of management style would I be operating under?
Do you prefer to be micro-managed or do you prefer to be managed from a distance? How much guidance will you need? Do you prefer someone to teach you every step or does the idea of being thrown to the wolves and learn through trial and error excite you? Do you prefer working as part of a team or independently? Ask yourself these questions before the interview and have a good idea as to what type of office environment you see yourself being the most successful.
2. Where do you see the future of the company?
Most company websites advertise history and current projects, but don’t offer much insight as to how they see themselves in the future. This question helps you and the interviewer to see whether or not there’s a future for you as a potential employee. Do your future goals align with the company’s future goals? If what you hear is appealing to you and you’re excited about the possibility of growing with the company, show it! Tell them you’re excited and smile! Not showing emotion in an interview is often translated as not caring. Being genuine allows the interviewer to see who you are and whether or not you’re a match for that particular company.
3. How did you become successful with the company?
This interview question is a great opportunity for you to gain insight on how to be successful with this particular company. Did the interviewer move up quickly based on merit or is this a company that promotes solely on seniority? Do they seem genuinely happy to work there or do you feel the sudden urge to talk them off the ledge? Asking about the interviewer’s career path offers great insight as to how your future could be with this company. Be aware of any positive and/or negative emotion or body language as the interviewer tells their story.
Answers to these three questions should offer any college graduate enough insight as to whether that company is the right fit for them. They focus on present responsibility as well as future growth opportunities for the potential employee and the company. For more information on interview tricks and services we can offer you, go to our website at www.EmployeeInvestmentGroup.com.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock