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Tips for Acing The Interview

Finishing your degree is a great accomplishment. Finding a job afterward can be the tricky part. According to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 72% of jobs require postsecondary education or training, and 42% of jobs require a bachelor’s degree. As such, you can certainly expect to have your hiring manager ask you questions related to your educational background, accomplishments and future degree plans – and we want you to be ready. Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or a senior role with your graduate degree in hand, you will probably have to interview with an employer before obtaining the job of your dreams. Like many interviews, you will have the chance to show your qualifications, personality, educational accomplishments, and work experience in order to make a good impression on the hiring team or manager. As a university focused on creating the next generation of Christian leaders around the world, we want you to ace that next step of your career journey.

Here are a few simple tips and strategies to get you from that initial interview to the final handshake: 

1. Get familiar with virtual interviews. 

Since the pandemic, most interviews are held online via platforms like Zoom, Webex, or Microsoft Teams. And while meeting a future employer online can feel uncomfortable or inauthentic, the reality is that virtual interviews allow for managers to get to know you while simultaneously not wasting time or resources. That’s why it’s essential to get familiar with these platforms before the interview. Each platform is similar in many ways with a few key differences. From where the mute button is located to knowing how to blur your background, it’s important to know how virtual interviews work and more importantly, the etiquette that is expected. 

Some things to consider if your interview is online: 

  • Set up a clean and well-lit space, where the employer can see your face with little to no distractions in the background. Blurring your background is an option, if you need it. 
  • Dress appropriately and consider wearing neutral tones that look great on-camera.
  • Mute yourself if there happens to be noise in the background. Doing so shows respect for the hiring manager as well as keeps the conversation going with little to no interruptions.

2. Practice with a mock interview.

The saying that ‘practice makes perfect’ could not be truer if you are someone who is applying for their first job. Interview anxiety is a real feeling that many people face. From meeting new people to having to talk about yourself, the imposter feeling can set in and cause you additional layers of anxiety and stress. Conducting a small mock interview can help you practice common questions the hiring manager will ask you about your educational background, career aspirations, salary expectations, and even situational questions. Along with these more specific questions, you can also practice your responses to more generic interview questions like what your strengths and weaknesses are so you can sell yourself as a candidate. You can get the interview jitters out beforehand making you feel more confident on the day of by asking a friend or family member to help you. Remember, the mock interview is all about figuring out ways to sell yourself as a potential employee. 

3. Learn about the company’s products and services.

Knowing about the company’s mission, products, services and clients is a given in today’s highly competitive job search. By showing interest in what the employer does and who they most care about goes a long way, especially if you’re looking to work for a company that assists or helps individuals in need. This may look like surfing their website, social media accounts and even news articles. In fact, researching a company shows more about you and your mindset as a future employee who is serious about the job opportunity. A good rule of thumb is to remember that you’re interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you – a complete change in mindset that can make all the difference. 

4. Talk about your future goals. 

Sometimes it can feel intimidating to talk about the future when you’re looking to get a job in the present. However, having a mindset focused on bettering yourself is a big deal and an impressive one. At the end of your interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions related to how  promotions are handled, what growth looks like at the organization, where employees have moved on to in the past, and even your academic goals like earning your master’s or doctorate degree. By removing burdens like relocating or quitting a job to complete your degree, employers feel more secure hiring online degree-holders or allowing current employees to seek online degrees because of the reassurance that such programs give space for more balance. With over 71% of employers hiring a job applicant with an online degree, don’t be afraid to talk about who you are and where you want to be. When you highlight your ambitions, you can show your potential employer that you’re not just interested in just staying in the present but rather looking toward the future, including pursuing your online graduate degree at universities like ACU Online

With popular programs like the Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, and Master of Science in Information Technology, earning your next degree for your future dream career is just a step away. Learn more about what ACU Online can offer you by visiting our website today! 

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