Q: My son is a recent graduate of a local university. He is headed to a second interview in early July. He was told by the recruiter that they like a candidate to “come prepared with questions” for the face-to-face interview. My son is both nervous and an introvert. He won’t ask questions unless he has them prepared before the interview. What questions should a recent college graduate be asking when they are interviewed for a job?
A: Congratulations to both you and your son! Job hunting, and interviewing especially, can be a daunting experience! Here are some tips for your son’s face-to-face interview:
- Dress the part. Learn the dress code, even if there isn’t a written one. Dress one step up. If employees are wearing jeans, wear pressed khakis and a button-down dress shirt. It is far better to be overdressed than underdressed.
- Arrive a few minutes early. Leave nothing to chance. Ensure extra time is built in for travel delays.
- Allow extra time for additional interviews. If your son is asked to interview with additional employees from the company, that is a good sign. He should allow for additional interviews if he is interested in this role.
- Check the LinkedIn profiles of the interviewers in advance.
- Bring a few extra hard copies of resumes to the interview.
- Research the company in advance. Understand what they do and their mission.
- Take notes. Note-taking demonstrates interest.
- I agree with the recruiter. Be prepared with questions. Some sample questions might include:
- What makes you excited about working at ABC? What kind of opportunities are available for strong performers?
- How would you describe the culture at ABC?
- From your company website, it sounds like DEF and GHI are competitors. Is that accurate? Who else do you consider competitors?
- What are the critical skills required for this role?
- What are the most important accomplishments for this role in the first 90 days?
- Finally, a thank-you note or email should be sent to all of the interviewers. It is important and shows professionalism.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.