Help Your Adult Students Ace a Job Interview

Posted by on September 7th, 2016

For many adult students, additional education will open the door to new career opportunities. They may be preparing to become more competitive in their current industry or seeking a career change altogether. Regardless of their intent, it is necessary for them to be adequately prepared for the job interview process. There are many ways to assist them in their preparation and success:

  • Research everything. Research the company, job description and hiring manager. It is important for job candidates to be familiar with the company and position for which they are applying. Websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor are often helpful towards providing specific company and individual insight.
  • Practice interview questions. Most industries have standard interview questions. Help your students ace job interviews by practicing these common questions and helping them craft appropriate responses. One of the most popular interview questions is, “Tell us a little bit about yourself.” Students benefit from practicing a concise response that highlights both their experience and personality in anticipation of this question.
  • Prepare questions for your interviewer. Help your students prepare questions for the inevitable, “Do you have any questions for us?” question that usually comes at the end of the interview. Even if the opportunity is not offered by the hiring manager, it is a good practice for candidates to have a few well-thought out questions prepared. Remind students that this is not typically the proper time to ask salary questions, but rather to gain greater insight into the responsibilities of the role or to request feedback on their interview performance.
  • Dress for success. Encourage your students to put their best foot forward in terms of their appearance. Being well groomed and appropriately dressed are necessary components for successful interviewing. The earlier research on the company will provide clues as to how formal or informal the candidate should be dressed for the meeting. In some cases, full business attire will be required whereas other environments may lend themselves to a more casual appearance. You may want to offer a few examples of suitable interview attire in each category.
  • Remember that first impressions are often lasting impressions. From the first interaction with an employer through the interview itself, students should remember that first impressions often carry over. It is important that candidates put their best foot forward. These impressions include everything from written communication to nonverbal cues and body language during face to face meetings. As many interview processes begin via phone, candidates should also consider the impression they are making without being face to face.
  • Say thank you. It is often said that good manners go a long way. Encourage your students to thank the interview participants for their time and the opportunity to be considered for the role as they are closing out the interview. Following the interview, it is acceptable and appropriate to send a written appreciation via email to the appropriate parties.

Interview success is driven by a number of factors. Strategic preparation and practice will help your students succeed. Remind your students that it’s common to participate in many interviews before finding a job, but each interview serves as practice for the next one. Regular practice, dressing for success and communicating effectively are ways to ensure they are approaching each interview with victory in mind.



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