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5 Tips to Help You Nail That Big Interview

Interviewing can be intimidating and scary, but remember that you earned the interview just as much as anyone else. If you prepare properly, speak and behave with confidence, and showcase your individualism, experience, and passion, the odds will always be in your favor. 

Now best of luck… and go kill those interviews! You got this. 

If you are an upperclassman, then you probably know it’s about that time of year again to begin looking for summer internships or full-time jobs. As you might also know, applying can be extremely competitive, and can even feel hopeless at times if you are without connections in your desired industry. You might send in your resumé and cover letter to thirty companies and only hear back from one or two! But imagine this: you have a good feeling this year — you’ve loaded up on experience and extracurriculars, and are receiving great grades. You decide you’re ready to apply to your dream company. You send in your information, and a few weeks go by. Then, to your surprise and excitement, an email pops up in your inbox: “We have carefully reviewed your application, and would like to invite you to participate in a first-round interview.” At first, you are over the moon. You finally have your shot! But then, the panic sets in, “Oh no!” you think. “I have to absolutely kill this interview… What the heck do I do now!?” But never fear, I am quite familiar with “interview panic,” and am here to provide some of the best tips I’ve learned along the way.

Remind yourself that your hard work is what got you here

It oddly enough becomes easy to forget how you got the interview in the first place. It’s easy to get “imposter syndrome” and tear yourself down. But the first and utmost important thing to do before any interview is to remind yourself that your hard work, dedication, and application got you there. The company CHOSE you for an interview, so remind yourself that just as much as you want them, you have to make them want you too. They already clearly have an interest in you, so build off that for confidence and remind yourself that you are just as qualified as anyone else interviewing.

do your homework

Every company wants to know that you care and that you are already familiar coming in with the work that they do. They don’t want to hire someone who has no background or company knowledge. That is why you absolutely MUST do your homework before attending any interview. It is much better to be over-prepared than under, and that is why you should be sure to research your company and familiarize yourself with its brands, mission, clients, philosophy, etc. I would personally advise creating a document of some sort that you can print out and refer back to before and possibly during your interview. Also, familiarize yourself with your resumé. Sometimes, even when you have a ton of experience and have learned so much from your past positions when asked about them directly, you freeze. This is why you should also be sure to study your resumé and remind yourself what you took away from each specific position you had in the past. 

make strong eye contact and utilize confident body language

This is easier said than done. However, making strong eye contact and being positive and enthusiastic with your body language is so incredibly important. Even if you’re incredible on paper, if you cannot show that you are able to communicate, collaborate, and interact well with others, you will struggle to get hired for any job. Remember, at the end of the day, you want to be likable. People are interviewing you, so appeal to their nature. Maybe you know something about your interviewer, maybe they are from your hometown or enjoy the same kind of music as you. Utilize that knowledge and build off of it to make a human connection with your interviewer.

speak passionately, enthusiastically, and clearly

Your voice matters so much more than you might realize. Having a clear voice, that is strong and commanding without being overbearing or domineering, is vital to a successful interview. Being eloquent and passionate when you speak will automatically appeal to your interviewer and show how much you care. Furthermore, even if you feel like you are struggling to come up with the “perfect” answer to an interview question, if you speak confidently and clearly, your answer will still seem strong because of your delivery. Humans are communicative creatures, remember that.

make it personal

Whether it be a personal anecdote that connects you to your desired company, a fun little anecdote, or a connection, you should absolutely come prepared to share why you want a certain company, and that shouldn’t be simply because it is “the best.” Remember that companies want you to want them too. They want employees who genuinely care about their business or place of work, so showcase that by bringing up something that connects YOU to the brand.

showcase your individual brand and experience

Remember not to get too caught up in the tiny details. You are representing YOU, so show that. Show your individualism. Talk about your hobbies and interests, and how they might make you a unique and strong candidate for the job. Dress in a way that represents who you are while being professional and refined. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or share a personal story or detail so you are remembered. Interviews should always be professional, but interviewers are human. They are more likely to remember something fun and different about you rather than the bland experience that hundreds of other applicants might also have. 

Interviewing can be intimidating and scary, but remember that you earned the interview just as much as anyone else. If you prepare properly, speak and behave with confidence, and showcase your individualism, experience, and passion, the odds will always be in your favor. 

Now best of luck, and go kill those interviews! You got this. 

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Autumn is a junior studying film/television & journalism at Boston University. She is extremely passionate about writing & film, traveling, her family and friends, and telling stories.
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