Why “Winging It” Doesn’t Work in an Interview

Sue Pye
September 17, 2019

Imagine it’s a few days before an interview for the summer internship or graduate program of your dreams. You’re busy with exams, projects, and your part-time job. You skip your interview prep because you don’t have time, and your communication skills are pretty good anyway. Besides, if the interviewer and you don’t connect, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be…right? 

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For better or worse, interviewing is a necessary part of life—and not just for your career. During your time at college, you may find yourself in the hot seat for various types of opportunities, including scholarships and student leadership positions. Even dating is a type of interviewing! And when it comes to the career or graduate school search, in most cases, an interview will be the deciding factor.  

That said, winging it doesn’t work as a top-notch interview strategy. Going into an interview with no preparation is the same as going into a final exam without studying. Taking time to practice is the best strategy to successful interviewing. Whether you are already a pro at interviewing or have never interviewed before, the following three tips will help you prepare and succeed!

1. Research the opportunity thoroughly and see how your skills fit into the organization. Be prepared to talk specifically about how your talents and aspirations fit in with the company’s mission. Showing you have done your homework is a great way to stand out as a candidate.

2. Review helpful information about interview strategies and tips in the Career & Internship Guide. Here, you’ll find tips for preparing for an interview along with sample questions, including some for you to ask the interviewer.  

3. Practice answering common questions with InterviewStream, a free web-based interviewing tool. Record your responses to common interview questions on your phone or desktop. You can even review the videos with a career advisor, who will coach you through the process and give you feedback.

Give InterviewStream a try before your next career fair or job call-back. You don’t want to be unprepared for the interview that could change your life.

Learn more about the benefits of InterviewStream by watching the quick video below!


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