What if I were to tell you that interviewers know within ninety seconds of an interview whether they will hire you? Crazy right? This statistic seems pretty scary, but with the proper preparation for an interview, you can be sure to win them over in less than that amount of time. Now that December is here, tis’ the season for companies to be interviewing college students for spring and summer internships. Here are my tips to nail the interview process:
Before the Interview
- Do your research
How embarrassing would it be if you walked into an interview and did not know one thing about the company you would like to intern for…awkward! By researching the company’s history, work/projects, and clients, you will be well informed on how you - as a potential intern- can be a huge benefit to the company. Also, make sure you understand the qualifications requested for the position you want.
- Where? When?
Plug in the time, date and location of the interview into your planner or smartphone. By organizing the “where” and “when” of the interview a few days before, you give yourself time to find directions to the interview site and to study up on the company.
- Dress for Success
I am sure many of you are aware of the dress code for interviews but for those who are not, here is the low down:
Conservative and professional attire - the “twins” cannot be seen, your skirt should fall at the knee line, heels are at most three inches (depending on your height), tattoos are covered up, etc.
Work a simple and natural look- avoid smokey eye shadow, thick eyeliner and an over the top bronzer. For an interview, it is best for you to keep your complexion simple and use a bit of makeup to lightly enhance your facial features
During the Interview
- Take initiative and be the first one to put your hand out for a firm handshake.
- Remember when your parents yelled at you to sit up straight and to take your elbows off the dinner table? The same etiquette that you practiced as a child at your dinner table applies for interviews…Mom knows best!
- Put your smile to use during the interview; show the interviewer that you are excited to be there and that you have confidence in yourself.
- When you are listening to their comments or questions, always hold direct eye contact with your interviewer
- No fidgeting. Show your interviewer that you are as cool as a cucumber. Employers see fidgeting as a sign of nervousness
- Let your personality glow. Your personality is one-of-a-kind. Use it to your advantage to help you stand out from the pool of applicants. Example: through my experiences with interviews, I always use my sense of humor (I try to make them crack at least one smile).
After the Interview
- I must say, I believe this final bit of advice is the icing on the cake in the interview process. After you have had your interview, immediately send out a thank you email to your interviewer (at most a few hours afterwards).
With love and luck,