So, school is out and you have two options a) you can lounge around all summer and mooch off your friends and family or b) you can get a job and do what you want, when you want. So, what’s it gonna be? Ah, see, I knew you’d come around. Keep reading to learn how to nail your interview!
(By the way, if you currently do not have any prospective job interviews but are looking, try using LinkedIn Jobs. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile this is the time to make one!)
- Prep: Create a cheat sheet with company information like founded date, values, recent press releases, and so on. You also want to create sample questions and answers like “why do you want to work for [insert company name]?” and “why did you choose [insert major]?” This cheat sheet will especially come in handy during phone and Skype interviews.
- Research: Glassdoor is a website that lists a wide variety of company salaries and interview questions. You will definitely want to take a look and prepare any questions asked previously in other interviews. If you’re interested in the company’s culture check out the company reviews section to get a grasp of what working for the company may be like.
- Attire: Make sure you have the appropriate outfit for the interview. You can never go wrong with a blazer and the color black. Below I’ve listed a few examples of what your outfit should look like:
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”- Oscar Wilde
- Punctuality: You want to be at least 10 minutes early, now, I don’t mean parking your car and running inside with 5 minutes to spare. Being punctual shows your professionalism and your interest in the position. It also gives you time to review your cheat sheet which is a plus.
- Posture: Believe it or not, power posing is a great way to get that extra boost of confidence. Poses pictured below actually boost testosterone levels and reduce cortisol levels (stress levels). Find a private space and pose as shown for about 2 minutes for a confidence boost. Studies show people who power pose prior to interviews are more likely to get hired.
- Greeting: You always want to shake hands at the beginning and end of an interview. Your handshake should be firm and not floppy. You should also look the other person in the eye during the greeting.
- Surprises: If you’re caught off guard by an unexpected question then take a pause and restate the question that way you have a little more time to think. I try to relate my answer back to the company’s values and always end on a positive note.
- Questions: Always have at least two questions to ask the interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. A few examples are “What have people previously in this position struggled with?”, “What do you expect the person in this position to accomplish within the first few weeks?” and so on. I would have a few questions on hand and ask whichever I feel are most relevant in the situation.
- Gratitude: Never forget to send the interviewer a ‘thank you’ note. You want to send this message within 24 hours of the interview. Keep it short and sweet, something along the lines of “Dear so &so, Thank you for meeting with me yesterday. I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for the position. I am excited to join x, y, & z company….” this will demonstrate your interest in the position.
Let me clarify by saying I am no interview expert but I have learned through trial and error. I’d rather you avoid making the same mistakes I did than have to learn through rejection. But even if you don’t get the job you wanted, it’s still great practice, and you’ll be better prepared in the future. Good luck job hunting!