Preparing For An Interview

Picture of Young woman and recruitment procedure in corporation.

You finally get the call you’ve been waiting for… you landed an interview for your dream job! This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, and you really want to nail that interview, but how? How can you be sure to stand out against your competition? Have you created an A2B Marketing plan?

What’s an A2B Marketing plan?

Much like B2B (Business to business) or B2C (Business to consumer) marketing, A2B (Applicant to business) marketing is how you reach the company you’re applying to and convince them that they need you on their team. In other words, A2B marketing is how you market yourself to the company and sell yourself as the best candidate for a job. Here’s how to start your A2B Marketing plan.

Start with research

Researching the company you’re interviewing for is one of the most important steps in the A2B and interview processes. It will give you a better idea of what the company and its employees do, what the goals and values of the company are, and what type of employees and customers the company has. Research the company’s website, social media, and LinkedIn. Doing your research is also expected by most employers. If you show that you’ve researched the company before the interview, it shows you have an interest in the company, and you are serious about the position. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to ask better, more meaningful questions at the end of the interview.

Prepare your Documents

During a job search, your resume is your greatest asset, and it can make or break your chances at a position. In most cases, the resume is the first impression of the candidate, and so you want to use your resume to leave an impression on your reader.

Next, you should create a cover letter. Not all applications require a cover letter, but your cover letter is a good place to outline your A2B skills and let the company know why you’re the candidate they should choose. Just like your resume, it is best practice to tailor your cover letter to the company in which you are applying.

If your application requires recommendation letters, you should reach out to your contacts and provide them with some context about the job. Receiving recommendations can help you stand out from other candidates.

Choose an appropriate outfit for the interview

When deciding what to wear for the interview, it is important to keep in mind that you want to impress the interviewers with your achievements and skills—not your outfit. You should dress sensibly and professionally. There’s no reason to wear any flashy or distracting clothing or accessories to the job interview. Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free, and fit properly.

Practice

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience; and if you come unprepared, it will be evident. Take a moment to draft out some answers to questions like, “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should we hire you”.  Have an idea of what some strengths, weaknesses, and experiences are that you’d like to highlight. Also, think about a few examples that show your work ethic and show your ability to follow through.   Even if these specific questions aren’t asked in the interview, you can use these stories to show how valuable you are, and by telling a story, you are making yourself memorable to those who are interviewing you. Practice telling these stories in a way that show your strengths, and how you can add value to the company. Mock interviews can also be conducted at the Career Success Center if you want extra experience answering interview-type questions. Practice and preparation are two components to a solid A2B promotional plan. By practicing, you become more confident in yourself and you will connect better with the interviewers.

Get to the interview

Much like a job, you should NOT be late for a job interview! Be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the interview accounting for traffic, weather, etc. You want to be there at least 10 minutes early, ready to go. Make sure to bring extra copies of your resume, a notepad, and a pen to the interview. If applicable, you should also have a portfolio of your work with you. Leave your phone out of sight and off (not on vibrate, OFF) for the duration of the interview. Bring your smile, and don’t be afraid to be yourself during the interview. Find tips on the interviewing process here. Good luck on your job hunt!

Other helpful links:

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2017/08/02/4-open-ended-interview-questions-and-what-employers-really-want-to-know/

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2017/08/02/the-cover-letter-the-hidden-gem-to-landing-an-interview/

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2013/06/25/10-unconventional-tips-for-job-seekers/

Internship Search Resources

Close-up Of Businesspeople With Files Sitting On ChairUSF Internship Resources

Are you stuck on where to find an internship? Here you’ll find all the resources that the University of St. Francis Career Success Center offers to help you find and apply for internships in your field.

Handshake: A field-focused database that helps you find internships based on your major, your interests, and other jobs and internships to which you’ve applied. Log in with your USF portal credentials. https://stfrancis.joinhandshake.com/login

CCCI Free Job Board: To gain access to the job board, please visit collegecentral.com/iscpa  to set up a FREE account. College Central Network is a web-based employment/internship job posting system. College Central Network is a job board that reaches 18 colleges/universities throughout Illinois as part of the College Career Consortium of Illinois (CCCI).

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great resource for job and internship searches as well as networking. You do not need an account to search for jobs and internships, but a quality LinkedIn account is a great asset to students of any major looking to enter the workforce. www.linkedin.com
Click the jobs tab and search internships.

Indeed: Indeed is a commonly used database for job searching.  You can also find internships on Indeed. Create an account to quick apply to positions and keep track of jobs in which you have an interest. indeed.com

Your connections:  Who do you know in the industry in which you are seeking an internship?  Reach out to them and ask who manages their internship program.  If they do not have a program yet, provide the name and contact at the firm and the Career Success Center will reach out with educational information on how internships work with our University.

If you need further assistance or would like to make an appointment for a resume review or mock interview, contact Betty Kohl in the Career Success Center at (815)740-3384 or bkohl@stfrancis.edu.