After earning your MBA, you’ll have the skills you need to excel in your career. A graduate-level business degree, like Emporia State University’s online MBA, offers a competitive edge. After all, marketing products isn’t all that different from marketing yourself. Acing your interview goes beyond the typical advice to dress professionally and sit up straight. It’s all about research, preparation, and follow-up.
Before Your Interview
Do your research. Failing to research the company you are interviewing with shows a lack of interest and initiative. Thus, it’s best to learn all you can about the company and its top executives. You’ll feel more confident during the interview if you understand this key information. Checking out the company’s website, social media posts, and recent news stories can provide insight into the company’s goals. It will also help you understand how your background makes you a good fit for the company and the job.
Practice your answers to typical interview questions. Consider asking a friend to run through common interview scenarios. Practice your answers aloud. Be sure to tie your background to the job by providing examples of solutions and results you have achieved.
Make a list of questions you want to ask. An interview allows employers to learn more about you, but it also allows you to learn more about them. Prepare a few questions, based on your research, about the company and your potential role.
During Your Interview
Prepare your selling points. Go into every job interview with three to five selling points in mind. Be sure to support your claims. If you’re communicating your ability to close a sale, for instance, provide an example of a time when you did just that.
Be ready to discuss your work. During the interview, you’ll be asked about specific work you’ve completed that relates to the position for which you are interviewing. Carefully review the job description and think of several examples. You can reference achievements from a job, a college project, a club, or volunteer work.
Follow the Rule of Three. Limit your answers to three examples or three main points per question. Doing so will help you get your point across. In other words, the rule of three is an effective way to keep hiring managers engaged and to avoid overwhelming them with too much information.
Professionalism is key. Always take a copy of your resume to a job interview, and be prepared with a list of references. Be sure to avoid negativity, especially when it comes to former employers. Instead, focus on the prospect of being able to contribute in your new role.
After Your Interview
Always follow up. Finally, send a thank-you note after every interview. It gives you one more chance to signal your interest in the job. Refer specifically to what you and the interviewer discussed and mention any important points you may have forgotten during the interview. You can even take the opportunity to ask follow up questions as needed. While a handwritten thank-you may be more personal, email is the way to go when time is of the essence.
Learn more about Emporia State University’s online MBA program.
Forbes: 5 Interview Tips for MBA Grads That You Didn’t Learn In Business School
Glassdoor: The 45 Questions You Should Ask in Every Job Interview