Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Tips and Reminders To Help You Have a Successful Interview

After graduation we will be thrust into the real world, forced to leave behind college, parties, friends, and that last little bit of carelessness. In preparation for adulthood we go through the tedious process of applying and interviewing for internships and jobs. The interviewing process is one of the most important things you will do as an adult, so it is important that you are prepared.

Your résumé:

While it may seem silly to have a piece of paper that defines you, that’s exactly what a résumé is. Deciding what should go on your résumé can be a confusing process, but your ultimate goal is to show future employers why you are qualified for the job you are applying for.  Here are a few things to remember when creating your résumé:

1.     Bigger isn’t always better. Your résumé should only be a page long. While all of your high school accomplishments and extracurricular activities are interesting, they may not be necessarily relevant to the job you are applying for.

2.     Too short. While keeping your résumé to the point is important, a short résumé can be equally dangerous as an extensive one. Employers want to see you have experience, not that you have simply graduated. You have to showcase your best assets, but keep it relevant, concise, and focused.

3.     Make several résumés. Some of us may be applying for different internships or jobs and the information we put on our résumé may not be relevant to all of those positions. You can make a “master résumé” that can be several pages with all of your skills and accomplishments. You can then create individual résumés that are compatible with the job you are interviewing for.

4.     Talk it out. The FSU Career Center has a ton of resources to help you get prepared. They can help you work on your résumé, cover letter, and all of your interview needs. Also, seek advice from professors or graduate students in your field, as they can help you get a feel for what your résumé should look like. If you have access to a professional who works for the company you want to work with, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask questions about your résumé, or send them a copy to have them critique it.

5.     PROOFREAD. This could make or break you. One little mistake is a red flag for a potential future employer. This very important piece of paper does not scream “professional” with grammar mistakes in it.

Prepare for your interview ahead of time:

You can only set yourself up for success by being prepared. Not only will it impress your future employers, but it will also make the interview process a lot less painless.

1.     Google Search. Hop on your computer and do a quick Google search about the company or some of the current employees. The more you know about the company, the better. You will be able to formulate better answers during your interview and ask more questions if you know more about the company and who you will be working for.

2.     Practice your answers. While every interview is different, you can still practice how you answer a question. This way you can be confident during your interview instead of worrying about what to say. Interviewers will be looking for how you answer the question not necessarily what you say in your answers (although make sure you answer the questions as professionally and relevant as possible.)

3.     Ask Questions. This is something you can definitely prepare for. While you are looking up information about the company, also search for “questions to ask in an interview.” They want you to ask thoughtful questions to show you are interested and prepared.

First impressions do matter:

Interviews are there to help an employer preview their future employees. What you bring to the interview is what they will expect once you start your job. While some of these tips may seem trivial, you will be surprised what you might forget when you are in the moment.

1.     Dress to impress. This may be an obvious one, but everyone has a different idea of appropriate interview attire. You don’t want to dress for the prom, BUT you want to dress in your best business attire. Even if the company you are applying to has casual Friday everyday, it is up to you to show you are taking an interview seriously.

2.     Don’t be late. Never be late. Always plan to arrive at LEAST 15 minutes early, if not earlier. This is not only the professional thing to do, but you can take the extra time to calm your nerves and get in that last minute preparation. This will always make a good first impression because timeliness is of the upmost importance.

3.     Make eye contact. Don’t take this time to bring out the crazy eyes, but show your confidence and respect by making eye contact and shaking hands. This is a friendly way to set the mood of an interview and a very professional thing to do. If you are in a Skype interview, make sure you aren’t looking away from the camera too much and treat the interview as if you are actually in the room with the interviewer.

4.     Thank you notes. While this may not happen during your first interaction, it can leave a lasting impression. While hand written notes are more personal, emails work just as well. You are not only doing the proper thing by thanking them for giving you the time of day, but they will appreciate the gesture and remember you for it. Be sure to reflect upon what you learned in the interview and reestablish your passion for the job. And don’t forget to acknowledge all the people involved; just thanking the boss who casually sat in on the interview is rude. Be sure to thank everyone who interviewed you, it’s the right thing to do.

Similar Reads👯‍♀️