Rock Your Next Interview: How to Prepare

By Blair Gilkyson
  • 01.10.19
  • 5 Min Read

OK, we’ve given you tips on how to review your resume and perfect your portfolio. We’ve even told you if you don’t prepare for the interview, you can kiss that dream internship or job goodbye.

I didn’t go through Ad Camp (sadly – it seems like a lot of fun), but I did apply to L&S, which means I was interviewed. Then interviewed again. And I spent quite a bit of time preparing for those interviews, so I picked up a couple tips along the way. Now I’m spreading my wealth (or two cents) of knowledge with all of you. Because we’re all rooting for you to show up and kick this interview’s ass-ertively asked questions.

Who We Are | Rock Your Next Interview Blog

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Like preparing for almost anything in life, you can’t do enough research. Start off by looking into the position and what it entails. Comb through the job description and maybe do a Google search, too. Don’t be that guy who walks into a job interview and doesn’t know anything about the job he’s applied for.

Also spend a decent amount of time researching the company or organization interviewing you. The more you know, the more opportunity you have to stand out from other less prepared candidates. Start off by visiting the company’s website to ensure you understand the breadth of what they do. Review their mission statement and values, and be sure they align with your own before going into the interview.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

As corny as it sounds, practicing answers with mock interview questions really does help. There’s no way of knowing what the interviewer is going to ask, but if you go over basic interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, why you want this job, etc.) and some not-so-basic (once I got asked, “What is your spirit animal and why?”), you’ll feel more confident going into the interview. Do a quick Google or Glassdoor search and you’ll find plenty of examples.

Plus, all the research you just did on the company will allow you to more knowledgably answer a lot of questions.

BE PREPARED

By now you might feel confident walking into the interview and answering any question thrown your way, but the preparation is not done. Never show up to an interview empty-handed. Bring extra copies of your resume and references, your portfolio with samples of work (if relevant) and a notebook and something to write with (there’s nothing worse than asking the interviewer if you can borrow his/her pen).

Also, prepare a couple thoughtful questions to have handy when you’re inevitably asked, “Do you have any questions for us?” Saying no is not the right answer.

And it’s worth mentioning again – put some thought into what you wear. First impressions stick the hardest, so don’t make yours a bad one because you wore pants that were too short and a shirt you pulled out of your hamper.

Work | Rock Your Next Interview Blog

BE FAMILIAR WITH WORK

More research! And this is a big one. Before an interview, familiarize yourself with a company’s products, services, client-base and work. Go into the interview ready to bring up different projects the company has done and what you admire about them, or how you have experience that could benefit a similar project in the future. You will not only seem well-prepared, you’ll seem sincerely interested in the company. Plus, looking through work is fun.

FOLLOW UP

Alright, there you go. You just nailed your interview and now you’re wondering when you’re going to hear back. But don’t wait to be contacted – always send a follow up thank-you right away. It can even be a quick email to whoever interviewed you thanking them for their time and consideration – easy as that. Bonus points if you send a handwritten card (yes, people still love snail mail).  And after that, you just hope for the best.

If you’re ready to test out your new interview skills, attend one of our Ad Camp Roadshow events and meet our team. RSVP at one of the locations below.

Brookings | Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill | February 5, 2019
Vermillion | Old Lumber Company | February 6, 2019
Sioux Falls | Lawrence & Schiller | February 12, 2019