Five Things to Do During an Interview

Career Blog

Published: October 19, 2018 by Evelyn Hudson

Everyone knows interviews are very important. A good interview can land you a coveted position, while a bad interview can do the opposite. Preparation is very important. You’ll feel more confident and comfortable during the interview if you spend some time preparing beforehand. But what about during the interview? What’s important to do during the actual interview? Read on to find out!

  1. Project confidence. Even if you don’t feel confident (remember, preparation helps with this), act like you are in control. If you project nervousness and uncertainty, the employer may think you feel like you can’t actually do the job. Body language goes a long way. Sit up straight and look the interviewer in the eye the entire time. This demonstrates that you feel ready for the job and won’t crack under pressure.
  2. Expand on your cover letter. You’ve already written a great cover letter, so talk more about what you wrote. A great idea is to mention something you would like to discuss more in an interview in your cover letter. Use that as a talking point during the interview—feel free to bring it up if your interviewer doesn’t. This shows you have really thought about the position and are taking it seriously.
  3. Ask good questions. What are good questions? Questions that show you have done your research and are truly interested in the position. To show interest, a good question is about daily activities in the position. To show your research, ask about new initiatives or something you learned while finding out more about the organization. Always come prepared with good questions—“I don’t have any questions” is never a good statement to make. If your mind goes blank in the moment, you can always ask about the next step in the interview process.
  4. Share your work. You’ve just received your MLIS degree—and that took a lot of work! Bring a portfolio to show off your work. You could also build a website and show examples of your work there. This is a good option if you’ll have access to the Internet during your interview. Choose representative samples of your work, such as one item that shows your skills as a reference librarian and one that shows your skills in collection development. But be sure to select samples that directly relate to the job. You only have the interviewer’s attention for a short time, so choose pieces that will make an impact.
  5. Give your elevator pitch. Elevator pitches are a great answer to the “Tell me about yourself” question. These thirty-second to one-minute speeches tell the interviewer about your background and where you want to go. He or she will quickly get to know you and your career interests. It is a strong way to begin an interview.

What else do you make sure to do during an interview? Share in the comments!

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