Mastering Your Interviews In College Part III: Preparation For Job Interviews

Mastering Your Interviews In College Part III: Preparation For Job Interviews

College resume? Check!

Interview appearance? Check!

Time for the final, yet most important, post guaranteeing better interview results! Most students are extremely unprepared going into job interviews. If there are questions employers ask that you cannot answer, odds are you haven’t done enough homework before the interview (besides occasional technical questions). Let’s dive into how you should prepare for job interviews in this week’s post!


Basic HR Interview Questions


If you’re not too sure what the HR department consists of, just think of Toby Flenderson from “The Office”. From personal experience, I’d say half of your interview questions are human resource (HR) related. Almost all companies have the exact same HR questions, just worded differently. In my numerous job/internship interviews while in college , some of the most common HR questions or statements I’ve came across were:

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Describe a previous experience working with a team and how you handled any tough situations.
  • Talk about a previous experience working with difficult coworker/teammates and how you handled it.

To perfect this portion of the interview, look up a list of the most reoccurring HR questions and write down your best thought out answers! These answers shouldn’t change from interview to interview. Make your interviews simpler by knowing these answers off the top of your head, thus coming off as well thought out answers!


Doing Your Research Before The Interview


Before clicking the “submit application” button, you should do a tad bit of research into the open position and hiring company. After you’ve secured an interview, research more in-depth! Learn when the company was created and its past owners, etc. Inform yourself of any mergers/splits within the company’s history and how they’ve done economically in recent times. Write down anything that you might have questions about!

After you’ve gone over the company’s history in more detail, familiarize yourself with the duties and responsibilities for the position you’ve applied for! Nothing more embarrassing than showing up to an interview and clueless of what you’re getting into. Again, write questions down!

Most importantly, look at sites, such as Glassdoor or Indeed, for job reviews in that position and location! Read all reviews, both positive and negative, making notes of all negative comments for later use.


The Green Notebook


Story time!

One of the greatest tools used in my college interviewing days was my handy-dandy “green notebook”. All questions accumulated during my research of the position and company were stored in my basic one subject “green notebook”.

At the end of my interviews, employers usually ask, “Do you have any questions?”.

And boy did I.

“Sure do”, would be my typical response, and I’d open up my green notebook to a list of 5-10 well thought out, lengthy questions. Occasionally I could see a few interviewers getting nervous. Oh how the tables turned.

Most of these questions were tough. I’d point out bad job reviews, ask why people were recently getting laid off, or questioned the company’s falling stock. Sometimes your tough questions bring out the true nature of the company you’re interviewing for. If interviewers have a negative reaction to your difficult questions, you probably don’t want to work there to begin with. I’ve had interviews end on the spot because of this. Nothing personal and no hard feelings, it’s just business.

I never noticed it’s beneficial effects until a few second-round interviewers made comments like, “we’ve heard about that green notebook”. I then knew it worked!

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a certain color notebook (a suitcase or bag works for example). It’s just a tool that helped me positively stand out from the other 20-30 interviewers!


Interviews are relatively simple and repetitive. All the hard work is done before the actual interview itself! Learn to perfect your resume, nail your appearance, and put in the time to prepare for interviews, and your chances of landing that job you want will tremendously improve!

Hopefully this series has helped college students! If you’ve missed Part I and Part II of this series, check it out here and here! Don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!


“Thorough preparation makes its own luck.”


Book of the Month:                        “What Every Body Is Saying” by Joe Navarro


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