Hello everybody! I hope everybody’s ready to have a wonderful weekend…I know I am after this crazy hectic week. So…time for a little update about my life: I got a job! My first one ever! And let me just tell you, it is exhausting trying to learn new things at work and maintain my school and social life all at the same time. However, that got me thinking, interviews are so nerve-wrecking and I’m sure everyone could benefit from the massive amounts of research I did for how to ace an interview. After all, we are going to have an interview at some point in life. For many people, it could be for grad school, for others it could be for jobs after they graduate. And for new college freshmen, it could be for a job during school! Most of my research comes from Business Insider and other such websites.
Below you will find a few aways to ace your interview:
1. Be Punctual: I cannot stress how important it is to make it on time or early – even better – to an interview. Honestly, this is something even I need to learn for myself. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early for an interview, simply so that you can take a breather before the big talk. This is also generally helpful if they have any kind of paper work to give you. And don’t forget…a firm handshake goes a long way! I practiced shaking hands with just about everyone I saw before my interview!
2. Come Prepared: Bring a nice portfolio folder of some sort and keep a few copies of your resume, transcripts, recommendation letters etc. On average, 3 people interview any given candidate, so try to bring at least that many copies. Most of the time, your interviewers haven’t even read your resume, so fill them in, but briefly.
3. Know About the Place that you Applied to: If you’re interviewing for grad school, know EVERYTHING about that program and the school. Read a few articles, find out what they are the best at, find out their mission statement. Trust me when I say that they will ask, “Why do you want to work here?/What can this institution provide for you?” or something along those lines. If your answer starts with “Your mission statement gives me the impression that this institution provides an academically-stimulating environment with tons of hands-on practice” they will be thoroughly impressed.
4. Make Small Talk When Needed: If you feel like the conversation is dying down and it’s getting to the point where it is awkward, don’t be afraid to take initiative and talk about the weather, or the news or something interesting. Try and keep away from celebrity talk and religious talk. And this goes without saying…but please, be nice to everyone you meet there!
5. Send a Thank You Note/Card After the Interview: Be courteous and thank them for their time. Mention again what position you applied for/what program you applied for. Stress your interest in the position once again and thank them for considering you as a candidate for the position. It adds to your personality and shows how dedicated you are. Also, if you’re opting for a hand-written card, don’t go for the flamboyant, colorful ones! Stick to the simple ones, like the one below.
6. Dress to Kill: Guys, please don’t wear jeans and a polo to ANY kind of interview. Invest in a nice pair of dress pants, and iron them well. Also, put on a nice tie and fancy button-down. I know it’s a hassle, but it’s only for about 15-30 minutes, an hour max. Guys, y’all better look like James Bond’s brother and ladies, y’all better look like James Bond’s leading lady!
Do you have any interview tips or tricks? Sound off in the comments!