Don’t panic. PRepare!

It’s that time again, when college seniors go into panic mode over graduating and finding a job. Concerns about particular companies, starting salaries and limited opportunities fill them with anxiety. Some thoughts about common questions may be helpful to consider as you seek a first job–or even an internship–in public relations:

Get started now. There are very few job offers made immediately after an interview. It’s often a painfully slow process. An application today may mean an interview in a week or two, possibly followed by two or three more interviews over the course of a month, and then the wait for an offer. So now’s a good time to start looking for a job or a summer internship.

Be careful of misleading ads: Job listings under the heading of “public relations” and “marketing” are often thinly-disguised sales jobs. You probably didn’t go to college to find yourself doing cold-calls to sell extended warranties or pet insurance, so get an honest job description before you go for the interview.

Know before you go: Learn as much about the organization as possible before the interview. If you know who you’ll interview with, find out what you can about him or her. Information is power, so know as much as you can before you go through the process.

Have questions ready: I knew a very talented student who wasn’t offered a good Manhattan agency job because she didn’t ask any questions during the interview. It’s often better to be more interested than interesting, so arrive armed with good questions. They’ll be impressed that you asked.

Pause before taking the first offer: If something feels wrong, avoid taking a job just because you’re afraid you won’t be offered another. And don’t agree to a ridiculously low salary for the same reason. Understand that YOU have value. Don’t sell yourself short. Which leads me to…

Trust yourself: You’ll know when an opportunity feels right. Use your heart and your head. Trust your instincts and go with what you know. There’s no need to panic if you’re prepared. You’ll do fine.

Your thoughts?

55 thoughts on “Don’t panic. PRepare!

  1. Sabrina O'Neil

    The interview process is the most nerve-wracking thing. No matter how much I prepare, I am always insanely nervous! Trusting yourself is a huge part whether it be trusting your instincts or trusting your skills, drive, and ability to succeed.

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  2. Gabby Sully

    Preparing for interviews for your future can be intimidating, but these tips make it helpful. It’s always important to have information on the company prepared, research the person you will be interviewing with, and having tools with you, even if not asked to bring them. For myself, I always bring a resume and multiple writing samples or projects.

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  3. Jennifer Im

    I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to ask questions during or after the interview. I had the fortune of being a part of the hiring process when my current employer was looking for new interns and she specifically told me to note the kinds of questions the applicants asked. If they didn’t have any questions, they were immediately dropped from the list no matter how qualified they were. In addition, my boss also gave me tips on the kinds of questions you should be asking. Always be sure to ask about corporate culture. Nowadays, both big business and small startups stand on the same stage and both have completely different work environments. While one place may have the standard cubicle life, another may have open offices and stand up tables and a game corner. Also, if it wasn’t covered already, be sure to ask who you will be reporting to. A position that reports to the Marketing Director will be different from one that reports to a Public Relations professional.

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  4. Kristina Scotto

    As an incoming college senior, the stress of finding a job right after I graduate is already giving me extreme anxiety. These tips were extremely helpful, however, especially the one about misleading advertisements. During one of my previous internships, I was considered to be the public relations intern, but none of my responsibilities had to do with public relations. For my job search in the future, I know to be much more careful about learning exactly what the position entails.
    My good friend who graduated in spring 2016 was offered a job which she had a bad gut feeling about. However, she felt pressured to accept the position because she was unemployed for almost a year after she graduated. She listened to her gut feeling and didn’t accept the position, and a month later, was offered a different job shortly after. It’s super important not to accept a job solely because you’re unemployed.

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  5. gafinlayson

    Thank you for the amazing advise. I know that our PR 107 class has asked a lot of questions during this stressful time and it has been amazing to be able to go to class and learn that everything will be okay. Everyone has a different path and Hofstra has prepared us to start working. I am still terrified to graduate and start a career, but I know that the first job that I might get won’t be where I will have to stay and that I can always continue my education in the future.

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  6. Jenna Morace

    I completely agree with all of this points. As a graduating senior I am freaking out about finding a job. I think that knowing about the company you are interviewing for is the key to success. Showing interest in a company in the interview is measured by what you can bring to the table for them before they give you the tools to do so. It shows your hungry and able to get the job done. I am most definitely planning on doing my research once I start applying.

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  7. Elizabeth Giangarra

    I think that these are definitely important tips when applying for full-time positions. I think that many people forget to ask questions in interviews and that its okay to write them down and brings them as was discussed at the PR conference.

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  8. Emily Bravo

    I follow these steps every time I apply and interview for an internship. In the beginning of my sophomore year, I went to the Career Center and they gave me a thick booklet. The booklet explained how to write a resume/cover letter to how to accept a job offer. Before my first interview, I went to a mock interview and we went over my strengths and weakness. It was pretty much like your advice above!

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  9. Tyler Weatherly

    I think that regardless of how many interviews we go on throughout our lives, we’ll still get anxious and question a lot of things. As a person who has been on bot sides – interviewing and hiring – I agree that these things are very important to consider on both sides. I think the most important one is trusting yourself – your heart and your head. There is nothing more miserable than working for a company/with people who don’t align with your ethics.

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  10. Sydney Seligman

    I really appreciated these tips because they made me feel a little bit better about the job hunt. Although I am nervous about finding a job and ready to take just about anything to start, I recognize how important it is to fully vet the offer first. I know so many people who take the first job they are offered and end up quitting after a few weeks and fear that will end up being me.

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  11. Leana Gianan

    A very helpful article and well timed! I think my main focus is trusting my gut and myself. For a while, I questioned how I felt about different situations and I’ve learned that when I listen to my gut, it usually ends well for me! The article is definitely going to be kept in my favorites for future endeavors!

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  12. Anwar Ahmad

    I’ve just completed my first internship and I am already worrying about finding a job. I still have a year left of school and the anxiety is already starting. These tips are beyond helpful, especially with getting started now. Your career is your life and one must take it seriously. Doing research and understanding where you might possibly work is essential in making a rational decision. I feel as though I would take the first job that I was offered regardless of my gut feeling. That is not a common fear among college students and I appreciate that it was acknowledged because it is done often.

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  13. Bianca Kroening

    This was an excellent, and VERY well-timed, post! Graduating seniors are constantly bombarded with reasons to doubt themselves and filtered photos of peer success, so it can be very difficult to get through that pre-graduation (and post-graduation) panic. I feel good knowing that this is something all of us go through, and all of us will make it to jobs and success, especially coming out of an amazing school/community like Hofstra. Here’ s to our future and the incredible things we’ll all do with it!

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  14. Julie Dietel

    As someone who is went through this process I can attest to many of these points. When I first received my job offer I panicked because I knew the salary was unlivable so I chose to negotiate. I think the best piece of advice is to trust yourself and know your worth. I went with my gut and in the end it worked out.

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  15. Sara Fox

    Great advice! My favorite suggestion is to always have questions prepared for the end of an interview. On my first internship interview, which happened to be over the phone, I thought I did extremely well. However, I never got called in for a face-to-face despite the fact that I fit their qualifications perfectly. I later realized she never called back because when she asked if I had any questions, I said no! She must have assumed I wasn’t that interested in the position. I will not make the same mistake again!

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  16. Elliot Rubin

    This was definitely helpful, and helped assuage some of my anxiety as I search for a job. I have been applying to several companies over the past months, and while I have had not had an offer yet, I have had several interviews, which have been useful experiences to build upon. Hopefully, with my next set of interviews, the companies I apply to will be impressed with my preparation and the skills I’ve learned through all these experiences.

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  17. liad zayit

    These tips were very useful and helpful especially for being a graduating senior. They made me feel a bit relieved about it all and not so scared to go through the entire process. Hofstra has definitely prepared me for my future and next steps I’m going to be taken. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to read these steps, whether you’re gradating, junior, sophomore, freshmen or even in high school! These tips are great!

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  18. Olivia H

    I think this was some much needed advice for myself and I can think of many others who have these exact problems on their mind. I think one of the best parts of my PR education has been that it’s been more about what to do at the job, but we’ve also been taught a lot about how to land the job and I think that is invaluable knowledge.

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  19. Stephanie Rubbino

    I very much enjoyed these tips given. I feel like the misleading ads was a very helpful tip because many people just see the headline and don’t read into detail. I will definitely keep all these helpful tips in mind though.

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    1. Alexandra Halbert

      I am definitely one of those graduating college seniors growing extremely anxious. Though I must say that these tips were super helpful! They almost made me feel a bit relieved. You have to trust the process. And better yet, have faith in yourself. Hofstra has prepared me for what’s to come. These tips will help reduce my panic and give me, and hopefully my fellow classmates, a much needed boost of confidence!

      Reply
  20. Hannah Thueson

    These tips are so helpful!! I’m so nervous about trying to find a job after college, even though that’s still a couple years out for me.

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  21. Erik Hansen

    These tips seem very useful for those looking for jobs and internships both in fields of Public Relations and in any other field one might find themselves. While many people already know the importance of arriving to a job interview as prepared and knowledgeable about the company as possible, these tips help emphasize how to demonstrate this knowledge properly and without agreeing to terms that you don’t agree with.

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  22. Max Newman

    This is great advice to take into consideration when looking for a job or an internship. I have luckily found myself in a position where I already received an internship for a private equity company, working in their brand development department and their public relations department. Receiving this advice now, I just hope I am in a position that I will learn from and receive the public relations exposure I am looking for. The description of the position was very vague, but I have to trust the person who referred me, who also works for this company. Worst case scenario this experience provides me with my first professional internship and will provide other great lessons that will help me in the future. I will definitely take this advice when looking for an internship during my junior year.

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  23. Haley Moffatt

    Being that I have one more year until I graduate, I have a very anticipatory feeling reading all of this information. It’s very helpful to hear all of these tips to hold in my mind as my time in school dwindles, and I will recall these tips around this time next year! I’ve heard many times recently that a candidate is taken more seriously and offered the job more often than not when he or she asks questions themselves,
    when the interviewer does more talking than the interviewee, essentially. Finding my first job is something that I think will be an extremely stressful time in my life and knowing what to expect in this process as well as what to do is extremely helpful. Thanks!

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  24. rHwang

    Thank you for these tips professor! Even though I am a sophomore, I am also filled with anxiety to find a job. I think these tips are very helpful. I think I will be referring to this post a couple of times just in case I forgot some minor details that could potentially affect my job hunting.

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  25. wendy timana

    Thank you for this advice! I will definitely go back to this blog post when I’m looking for jobs in the future. I am only a freshman right now but nor finding a job is a huge fear of mine. The field of communications is so competitive and I often feel like I won’t stand out and get noticed. This post reminded me to stay positive and when the right job comes around I’ll trust my instinct.

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  26. Alyssa Scott

    I am only a sophomore and I am already stressing out about my plans after graduation. Although, right now I need to focus on getting an internship. These tips are super helpful and will definitely be used. Thank you!

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  27. Gabriella Johns

    First off, thank you for these quick tips! This will be very useful to me even though I am not a senior I can still use these tools in the near future. If I had these tis earlier I would have defiantly been better off now. I know form experience to always have a question ready even if you don’t have any. I always struggle asking questions because if you the interviewer was god I rarely have questions. Probably something I need to work on.

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  28. Briana Cunningham

    This is so short and sweet, yet tremendously helpful. I am in the same boat as many of my fellow classmates. Although I am not looking for a job directly after graduation, I know that the panic will set in as the summer comes to an end. These preparation tips may be simple, but they are the fundamentals to a successful job search. And they are certainly relevant for more than just the class of 2017; they are applicable to the internship search as well. I can only hope that I have done enough preparation that the panic won’t be necessary. Thank you for this post!

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  29. Brittany Liscoe

    I’ve heard from several sources that I should not be so quick to accept the first job offer that comes my way and knowing myself, I think that will be my biggest challenge once I graduate. I’m so nervous that I won’t find a job in time to start paying off my student loans so I know I will probably jump at the first job that offers me more than minimum wage. I just don’t think I have the guts to take such a risk as to turn a job down but I know I will probably miss out on so many opportunities with that attitude.

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  30. Marielle McCartin

    Thank you for this post! It really helped calm my nerves about graduation and put things into perspective. These tips will definitely help me during my job search and during my next month or two as school comes to an end.

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  31. Christina Shackett

    Some of my closest friends are currently working on or have already made their way through getting a job after college. I feel as if though nothing can fully prepare you for this time except for actually doing it. However, I do think all of these steps are helpful in planning for getting a job. I would also rely heavily on my friends who have already done it, but nonetheless you can never be too prepared.

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  32. Sarah Hanlon

    This is such great advice! As someone who is just starting the process of finding an internship in New York City, I will keep all of these tips in mind. Even though the idea of finding and securing an internship (and a job after graduation) is intimidating, I am confident that my experience so far (and blog posts like these) will lead me to success!

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  33. Emily Walsh

    This blog post couldn’t have come at a better time. With only weeks until graduation, the anxiety of life after college, especially finding a job, is in full swing. I’ve been putting my full focus on applying and interviews, and I honestly feel like I need to take a step back and look at what’s around me. Like you said, I have to trust myself in what I want to do. I have to listen to my own head and heart, no one else’s. With that said, while I’m full of worry and anxiety, I cannot help but be more than excited for the next steps of my life. It’s been great knowing the education I received here at Hofstra has more than prepared me for graduation and beyond. Thank you, professor Morosoff, for your comforting words that calm me down in this crazy time.

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  34. Courtney Grieco

    Probably my favorite blog post yet! The information and advice you shared is definitely something I plan on keeping in my pocket for when I start applying for jobs next year. This did a great job of calming my nerves in general about the end of my education and the transition to my career.

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  35. Tai

    This blog post gave really great advice. I am right now looking for a summer internship and at a cross roads between only applying to companies I know and feel match with the career path I see for myself or applying for any internship in the PR field to gain experience. I found myself stalling on applying to agencies for the fear or doubt that I would get accepted. I understand that I cannot be considered for a position if I do not apply for it. I also understand that the fashion and beauty industry is known to be cut throat. My goal is to just stay positive and try. While I do not have an internship yet, I am hopeful to have one by the start of this summer.

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  36. Brandi Hutchinson

    First off, I will definitely be coming back to this next year when I am a senior. I have a bunch of friends who are graduating now and could definitely use this to their advantage. I remember hearing about bringing questions to an interview during the PRSSA conference so that will be the number one thing I remember when preparing for an interview.

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  37. Emily Levine

    As a graduating senior, this post is super timely and relevant, and I am definitely guilty of going into “panic mode.” I completely agree that asking questions and doing your research is extremely important in an interview! Another tip that I learned recently at a professional development event is to screenshot or copy and paste the job description and requirements when you apply for a job. We’re all probably applying for many different jobs, and by the time you are contacted for an interview, and want to review the the specific position, the job posting will likely be taken down off of the company website. I thought that was a great tip and I’ve been taking screenshots of every job I apply to so that if I were to get an interview, I could be sure to talk up the qualities they’re looking for.

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  38. Emily Barnes

    Being an upcoming junior, I’m really beginning to feel the daunting task of figuring out what career path I see myself in and determining what I’m going to do after college. I think a lot of young people miss out on great job opportunities because, as stated in the blog post, they jump too quickly instead of waiting and then choosing out of a couple of options. One sentiment my dad has always implemented into my siblings and I is “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” I apply this to my educational career as well as life in general, and I think it puts matters into perspective whenever I begin to doubt myself. I believe more people should approach their career paths this way–don’t be afraid to start small, but within reason so as to never underestimate your skill set and worth.

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  39. Madeline Myslow

    Even though I’m only a sophomore, I’m already starting to feel the job anxiety set in, or at least the internship anxiety for now. It’s easy to put off all of the work of applications and interviews, but we must review pointers like this so that we can go in confidently and intelligently and present ourselves as best as we can to try to get the job. One thing I found interesting about this list was the part about misleading ads – I had no idea that jobs could fudge the information a little in order to trick you into taking a job. This is definitely something that I will keep an eye out for throughout the job hunting process.

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  40. Samantha Storms

    With the end of my sophomore year lingering above my head, I am already feeling anxious about the future when it comes to job prospects and what I can be doing right now to better myself and my chances for becoming the type of professional that I want to be. Reading the comments that are already on this post, it’s great to know that I am not alone in feeling anxious about my own ability to get myself to where I want to be as both a student and future writer.

    Reply
  41. Whitney Shepherd

    I am sure I am not the only graduating senior that is very appreciative to see this blog post, especially at a time when searching for a job has become a full time job for me. I think you touched on some good points that reassured me that I am doing the right thing, which has definitely eased my conscious slightly. I certainly do not think anyone can over prepare for an interview. I try and do as much research as possible not only about the company but about the position as well including past professionals who have held the position or past projects that position has worked on. As far as making sure to ask questions, I think that is very valuable advice. I used to be the type who did so much research that I didn’t really have any questions because I thought I knew all the answers already, but I have seen the value in asking questions because although we are getting interviewed we are also interviewing the company.

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  42. Michael Mastropierro

    These are all valid and helpful tools to finding success. All students should definitely keep this in mind when going on interviews for internships or jobs. Questions are very important. A good question to ask if you don’t have any other ideas is “what is a typical day like in the office?”

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  43. Elana Delafraz

    This blog post caught me at such a good time-amongst my job search. It is indeed a stressful and anxiety filled time. My only wish is to wake up one day and see thatI have finally made it to the interview of my dream company. Sometimes it is stressful because you may work so hard at an internship and want to be hired at that company to later find out that they are not hiring at that time. I have also learned the timing is everything. If I would add anything to this post, I would encourage students to network a ton and see if they can set up informational interviews. After all, that has truly helped me in the past.

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  44. Kassara McElroy

    I just had and an interview Friday and a blog post like this is extremely helpful to see where my strengths and weaknesses were in the process. These preparations are noticed by an interviewer. Going in with some facts about the company is the most important preparation to me, besides having questions at the end. Companies like to feel that they are impacting and relevant to the public. They like to know that you know what they are about.

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  45. Nicole Lamanna

    Finding a job after college is one of the things I’m most anxious about. It’s nice to know there are professionals who are willing to take the time to compile a list of advice in order to make the process less nerve wracking. As discussed in this post, I feel like the hardest part is going to be waiting, but it’s nice to be reminded that having to wait is not abnormal.

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  46. Ben Martin

    This is a short, sweet, simple reminder that is very useful! I think these are very easy tips that we often forget when we are in the heat of the moment. I think this blog entry will serve as a handy tool when the time comes to go out and brave the real world.

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  47. Dianne Fallucca

    This post is very timely as I am currently in this state of panic. I think all the tips you offered were helpful and relevant.

    I always feel like I am not at liberty to say no to job, especially as someone who is at the bottom of the totem pole. Knowing that my degree is worth bargaining for a decent salary.

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  48. Marli Delaney

    Although I’m not graduating for a while, I find this post to be very insightful and I plan to refer to it multiple times in the future. With job-searching (and even college) being such an anxious time, this advice brings hope and confidence to the students who read it and need it.

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  49. Brier Davis

    I think you’ve nailed it And I know I will be returning to this post when I begin my job search.

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  50. Madison Wright

    I think it’s terrible that some people use public relations as selling pet insurance, but this helps me when I will be looking for a job. I think the pressure to find a job is the biggest stress for seniors. These steps reassure everyone that quality jobs take time.

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  51. Sam Bussell

    For every college kid this is a very strenuous time, as underclassmen are looking for internships or are waiting to hear back from them and seniors are graduating and are looking for jobs that will job start their professional career into the work force. It’s amazing to see the process that goes into finding a job and how in the moment you are finished applying you are thinking to yourself that this will either work out or that this just a little bump in the road and you move on to the next step in your journey. Looking for the right job or even your first job is like trying to find your Husband or Wife it comes completely out of left field and just when you least expect it an complete arises.

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  52. Daniela Gagliano

    I think these are all very important tips that I wish I read from even a high school level, so that I could’ve developed them even more throughout the years. Only recently (between junior and senior year) did I pick up on the importance of researching the company and getting to know where you want to work rather than just taking whatever offer comes your way. Regardless of whatever the brand/company/client is, its important to do thorough research prior to an interview because it helps when they ask you questions about the company, why you want to work there, etc. Even if they don’t ask you a specific question about the company it stands out if you use your knowledge to plug in information you know during the interview. They’d rather hire someone who is well informed from the start and shows interest and passion, than someone who couldn’t care less and is looking for anything to get a job.

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  53. Haylee Pollack

    Thanks for this! Definitely saving this for my next interview. I must say though, coming up with questions at an interview is probably the hardest part for me, especially when they already have answered the ones you have prepared.

    Reply

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