Here are just a few tips for rocking that first job interview, whatever it may be.
First thing’s first is of course appearance. First impressions are extremely important when giving a pitch about yourself and trying to create a distinction amongst your peers. You can’t redo a first impression. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. No matter how daunting that seems though there are several things you can do to prepare yourself before going in for the handshake.
· Make sure hygiene is taken care of. It should go without saying but please don’t just pop a mint in your mouth and call it a day. Grab that toothbrush, style your hair and make sure your outfit doesn’t look like you just pulled it out from under your clean clothes pile (I know we all have them, just don’t let them know it). Don an outfit that is clean, professional and makes you feel confident. Wear that blazer like a suit of armor and be prepared to kill it during an interview.
· Soon after you introduce yourself you’re going to have to hand them your resume. This could not be more important. If you are an interview virgin you might feel comfortable going to Career Services to have them help you build and edit your resume. English Writing professors can look over it to check for misspellings or simple mistakes. You don’t want any in this document, those can be the difference between how professional you come across to your possible future employer.
· Don’t think that you can just dazzle on paper. Stand up straight, speak up and make eye contact. No, don’t stare them down, but make sure you exude confidence (not arrogance). They’re looking to hire an adult and guess what? You are! Time to step up to the plate and show them all the potential you have and what you can contribute to their company. That is of the utmost importance!
· What do you bring? What is something unique about you that you can bring to the table and contribute to further their company? You’re more or less selling yourself out for hire; you need to make sure they know what makes you different from every other students they’ll meet. You are unique. Something within you would make a valuable asset to a company so just dig deep and make a list of your best qualities. Talk to your current or past employers to see what makes you a valuable hire. You could be:
o A team player (You’re someone willing to work with people different from you in order to get the job done and done well. You’re comfortable in group projects and makes sure everyone pulls their part together effortlessly)
o A great negotiator (You’re great in a time of crisis and help your fellow coworkers out when a problem arises. Someone they turn to when they need to make a critical decision)
o A hard and determined worker (you are devoted to the task at hand and are determined to prove yourself as the best in your field)
o Ambitious and takes initiative (following the previous quality; you want to improve yourself and move up within the company. You don’t need to be supervised but get the job done quickly and efficiently.)
o Creative thinker (You love to come up with new and unique ideas to problems within or outside your field. You have a lot of great ideas that you’re willing to pitch and have a very organic approach to getting the job done.)