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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapel Hill chapter.

These are some of my most important tips that I remind myself of, every time I’m antsy about a new interview. Hopefully, they can help you as well.

Practice Questions, Not Answers

This advice was given to me by a friend who has experience on both sides of the interview table. I gave her a WTF look when she first suggested it to me. I thought practicing questions meant practicing answers as well. The distinction lies in where you put your focus. Think about all those times you began to answer a question, only to get halfway through and forget what you were answering. Practice nailing the question by going through the thought process of how you might answer it, but don’t go through your complete answer, word for word.

Never Memorize Your Answers

This is the “part two” of the previous tip. You should definitely talk through your thoughts before an interview, but waste no energy attempting to remember what exactly you said. Your interviewers, more than likely, will recognize a rehearsed answer immediately and dock your points.

Dress to Impress (Yourself)

Of course you should dress in professional attire for a scholarship or job interview, but there is a lot of gray area there. There is room for you to be creative. Whether it is a snazzy, white blazer or a favorite necklace, where something that gives you an extra pep in your step.

 Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to Your Body Language

The three rules: sit up straight, make eye contact and smile. But, other than that, let your body move as it feels is right. Don’t make the mistake of focusing too much on your facial expressions. Body language can be tough, for girls especially. You want to smile, but you don’t want to smile too much and be perceived as fake or vapid. Smile when it is natural. Make eye contact (with all interviewers, if it is a panel). And sit up straight like the queen you are.

Be Confident.

This is a lot harder than it should be. And this topic could constitute a whole other article in itself. But here are a few tricks that work for me: pretend your future self is a fly on the wall (make her smile with pride), pretend your past self is a fly on the wall (make her hope for the girl she grows up to be) and pretend your mom (or another person important to you) is a fly on the wall (make her tear up with pride and love). All these people adore you and matter much more than the people interviewing you. Show up for them, not necessarily the people asking you questions.

Interviewing gives a lot of us a tough time, but, with a lot of practice, patience and self-forgiveness, we can go out and rock them all. Go get ‘em, girl.

Katie Jackson

Chapel Hill '23

Katie is an undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill. She is part of the Campus Y Outreach Taskforce and HYPE Tutoring. Interested in sustainability, economics, and global culture and policy, Katie plans to study business, public policy, and environmental sciences. Katie loves her kitten named Hiccup (yes, from How to Train Your Dragon), her two dogs, her other kitten (even though it is technically her sister's) and her cat.