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Power Up Your Next Job Interview

Interviewing for a job soon? Here are three things to remember to put your best foot forward.

Be authentic.

Much like the way MBAs present their true self in b-school applications, you also want to be your true (professional) self in your job interview.

What makes you a great candidate? What are your strengths? What are you passionate about? Have a few examples of times where you’ve lead a team or faced a challenge or had to use skills necessary for the role you’re interviewing for. If the company has a reputation for hiring a specific type of candidate, do your best to show that you have those same traits even if they’re transferable.

For example, if the company hires a lot of former engineers, but you don’t have an engineering degree – find examples from your background where you displayed critical or analytical thinking and solved problems.

Don’t be afraid to bring your personality into the interview—after all, people want to work with people they like to be around.

Do your research.

Know exactly why you want to work for the company and know why you believe you’re the best fit for the role.

What values do the company uphold that resonate with you? What skills have you used in your past jobs that are transferable to the role you’re applying to? All these are great questions to ask yourself prior to walking into the interview. The more you know why, the easier it will be to answer any questions you may not have expected.

But don’t do too much research.

While you want to seem very knowledgeable about the company and position you’re interviewing for, you also want to ask questions.

All interviews end with “Do you have any questions?” and some good advice given to me was to always ask a question. Your questions should be about something you cannot find on the company website, but something that shows you’re knowledgeable.

If the company was recently in an article, or announced big news, your question can be related to that (draw on your case study experience for this one), or it could be about work-life balance or the typical day-to-day of the role.

Saundra Quinlan is an expert on and an admissions consulting counselor with  She is an undergraduate alum of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA alum of Harvard Business School. 

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