In college, we study under a particular major that we strive to obtain a job from. What most of us do not learn, though, is how to interview effectively to actually secure the job or career we are working so hard for. With summer approaching us, you are most likely applying to jobs in your hometown or internships with companies you strive to work with in the future. Interviewing can be stressful and nerve wracking, but with these five tips, you will interview like a pro and impress your potential employer.
1. Do your homework
Research is key to feeling confident during an interview. You must know the ins and outs of the company before walking through their doors. Some important things to know are the owners or CEO’s of the company, their vision, their products, and their purpose. Get the backstory on the interviewer’s life to find talking points. Know the most recent progress in the company and prepare yourself to explain how you will be a valuable component in continuing that progress. By taking the time to do research, you are showing the company you are serious about them. Trust me, it will not go unnoticed.
2. Create a portfolio
For many different careers, a portfolio is a great asset to have while interviewing. It allows you to have all your work in one neat, concise medium so the employer can quickly see you are the real deal. This could range from a binder of writing samples to previous schoolwork assignments. Having a hard copy of something to display to your interviewer allows them to see firsthand that what you are saying on your resume isn’t just fluff. It brings substance to the interview, which will allow you to obtain credibility and overall stand out from the rest of the applicants.
3. Update and rehearse your resume!
You need to make sure to update your resume so you aren’t still listing your high school homecoming committee as your leadership position. Revise your resume to fit the job you are applying to. After you have done this, make sure you know it! A big part of this is rehearsing each line you have written. Have an explanation for every point made and be able to apply them to the job you’re being interviewed for. Rehearsing your resume helps you avoid rambling during an interview. Think, what has this point listed on my resume taught me? How can I apply this to the interview? How can I apply this to the job at hand? Once you are well versed in explaining your resume to yourself, it will make it extremely easier to explain it to the interviewer.
4. Body language and eye contact
This is something most people do not realize they are doing incorrectly. Your body language can make someone feel comfortable, uncomfortable, relieved, stressed, nervous, and so many other emotions. When interviewing, you want to sit up straight. This exudes confidence and shows you aren’t intimidated. You want to make sure not to cross your arms because it is uninviting and creates a barrier between you and the interviewer. You also need to keep eye contact. Eye contact is the way you connect with the employer and show them you are actually listening and engaging in the conversation. Lastly, shake the interviewer’s hand, or anyone they introduce you to, with confidence. When you shake their hand, look them in the eyes and introduce yourself. This shows you are excited to meet the other people at the company and also, that you aren’t afraid to introduce yourself to people. Keep eye contact and open body language and you will be surprised how the interviewer responds.
5. Be on time
Being on time is something that goes unnoticed until you show up late. An interviewer will not think, “Wow, they arrived on time”, but if you are late, they will definitely take note. This is essentially the first impression you will make on the employer, so don’t mess it up! Show you are responsible! Set multiple alarms, prepare your outfit and materials the night before, and know where you are going so you do not get lost on the way. Being on time shows you made this meeting a priority, you respect the interviewer, and you can manage time.
If you do all five of these tips, you WILL make a great impression on your interviewer and hopefully land the job!