The Job Interview is a necessary evil in the path to starting your career. It’s the final obstacle between you and the job you want, and can be a major source of anxiety. At Univjobs we want you to succeed, so we’ve asked recruiters at top companies to let us in on their tips to ace any job interview.

1. Research the company before the interview

According to Brett, a recruiter from Snap Travel, the most annoying things for him to deal with is when students aren’t prepared for the interview. Waiting until 2 minutes before the interview to email and ask questions isn’t going to cut it.

You probably don’t have time to write a 20 page essay about the company you’re interviewing for. Recruiters are realistic and just want you to show that you’ve put in some effort.

Here’s a quick research checklist to give you a head start:

  • Mission/goal of the company
  • Products and services they offer.
  • Company values
  • Current news about the company.
  • Tip: Check their social media to find out what they’re up to

2. Know what you want to gain from the role you're applying for

During the interview, employers will ask about your motivation for applying to the job. Questions such as "Why do you want to work for us?" and "Why did you apply to this job?" will definitely come up. Impress your interviewer by being specific, direct and knowledgeable. Think of how you want to grow professionally: “I heard that your company offers in depth training in this field, and I want to make the most of that”. You could also address your personal growth: “I know that this company values the environment, and I want to work for a company that I really believe in”. Try to make it personal; interviewers have heard all of the generic answers before.

3. Prepare with examples on projects, volunteers, work history that map to to the job description

The job description will give you an insight of what they are looking for in a candidate. Chances are you applied to it because you have the skills, achievements, and experience that match what was listed. Make sure to prepare at least one example of how you demonstrated these qualities.

4. Be prepared with a few questions to ask at the end of the interview

It’s a given that you’re going to be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. Unfortunately, saying no isn’t really an option. Think of this as your chance to stand out and appear as the intelligent, thoughtful person you are.

Here are a few questions that you can ask:

  • What do employees love about working here?
  • Why did you choose to join (or stay at) this company?
  • What makes working at this company special?
  • How do you see this company/industry evolving in the next 5 to 10 years?
  • I know of the company’s value is [insert value name]. How is that demonstrated here?

5. Follow up after the interview

The cherry on top of the “I just conquered this interview” sundae is the thank you letter. This can be the make or break step that distinguishes you from the other candidates. Make yourself memorable by emailing your interviewer a quick thank you for their time and consideration. Make sure to remind them of your strengths. This is a great way to ensure that you are at the top of their mind when decision time comes around.

Get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs at our blog. If you are in the lookout for new opportunities while you’re at school or you’ve just graduated check out Univjobs.

Special thanks to

Brett at SnapTravel and Karen Blakely at NextJ Systems.