It’s that time, when many college students are interviewing either for internships or for jobs. In fact, many college seniors may have interviewed for and even landed jobs already. But, for others – and you know who you are ““ you may be pounding the electronic or concrete pavement now, searching for the right career starter. For you, I offer these Five Interview Tips (which, by the way, will come in handy for anyone interviewing for a job at any stage of his/her career).
Prepare by writing – Of course, research the company and the job on the internet. Talk to people who know about the opportunity, the industry or the competitors. But, more than that, take the time to write out some talking points for yourself. It’s one thing to feel ready for an interview; it’s another to sound articulate and confident.
Show up as a professional – be on time (about 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin). Dress spotlessly – err on the side of conservative clothing. Practice your handshake, your eye contact, your rate of speech. Get rid of slang and “um’s.” If you want to be treated as a professional, you have to look and sound like one.
Bring 3-4 fresh copies of your resume. This is a step you might think you don’t have to worry about because, after all, you’ve sent in your resume before the interview. But, it’s possible you’ll meet interviewers who weren’t expecting to see you or even those that do haven’t brought your resume to the meeting. Better to have extras than to be short.
Listen – By the time you arrive at the interview you will be itching to show your stuff. Be cool ““ let the interviewer lead the conversation. The more you hear, the better able you’ll be to tailor your answers to what’s being asked. No one ever wants to hire a poor listener.
Ask – You must come in with questions… about the job; how your boss will measure success; about whom else you’ll be working with; what kind of training you can expect. Again, write out questions for yourself beforehand but be prepared to improvise if you hear anything (see Tip #4) that sparks an interesting and potentially impressive question.
Five Tips… five easy pieces. Put them together and get that job!