UCS Career Blog

Acing Your OGI Interview Part 2

Laura Neidert
October 2nd, 2013

To continue our series on OGI success, we’ve got some questions on interview etiquette and making a good impression.  Let us know if these tips have helped you on our Facebook or Twitter page!

How to dress?
In most cases, OGI interviews require business professional dress, such as a suit.  Do your homework on the organization prior to your interview though to determine if other options are available, or contact the recruiter if you have any specific questions.  Regardless of what you wear, ensure that it is clean, in good condition, that you are comfortable wearing it for a long period of time, and that it fits well.  For style inspiration, check out one of our Pinterest boards at http://www.pinterest.com/uvaucs/looking-the-part/, and suggest some pins to us!

How early should I get there?
At least 15 minutes before your interview.

What is the proper etiquette for following up (business card, thank you note)?
Following up is a key aspect of a successful interview!  Before you leave your interview, ensure that you’ve received the interviewers contact information, and have a clear idea of when you’ll hear back on the status of the position.  Send a thank you email within 24 hours of your interview.  A great way to structure this note is:

Thank you for interviewing me for the (insert job title here) position.  I really enjoyed learning more/discussing/sharing  about (some aspect of your interview conversation).

Insert a sentence or two here which speak to your best qualifications and reasons for wanting the job.  Then close by thanking them for their time and consideration.

Should I have a Firm handshake?
Yes, a firm handshake is an important part of your overall impression.  It communicates that you are confident and energetic, among other positive qualities.  Just remember-don’t grip their hand too tightly, pump too many times, or offer a sweaty hand.  If you’d like to practice, stop by our walk in and drop in sessions to meet with a UCS Counselor.

How can I be informed about the company I’m interviewing for?
There are several ways to research a company that you’re interviewing with.

  • Company Website: At minimum, study the job description for the relevant position, and the company’s careers website.  Beyond that, consider digging into information about the company structure, organization, office locations, recent news, and examples of work that may have been produced by the team or group with which you are interviewing.
  • LinkedIn Company Page: The company page on LinkedIn highlights real time information about new hires and people who have left the organization, as well as their background.  Use this information to ensure that your LinkedIn presence reflects similar skills, as well as to gain information about related organizations.
  • Google Alerts or similar services: Use these to keep track of recent happenings with the organization and receive immediate notification.
  • Research databases @ Library, if publicly traded company: a highly valuable, yet underrated resource.  If you’re interviewing with a large, publicly traded company, check Lexis-Nexis or a number of other databases for financial reports and other information.
  • Personal contacts and initiative: We hope that you’ve been connecting with alumni and professionals in the field throughout your job search.  You should continue to consult them as you prepare for an interview.  Ask questions about what the office setting is like, or anything else that’s on your mind.

Join us next week for our final round of OGI tips, and good luck with your interviews!