Go Get 'Em: 5 Ways to Prepare for Interview Season

Going into interviews can be beyond nerve-wracking because they are a friendly little reminder that we are all growing up. We're taking our first steps into the real-world workforce. It is time to get serious, and interviews are where you get to show future employers that you have what it takes to succeed. It is not easy sitting down with an interviewer because you must remember to be the best you can be. Here are some tips to help make that scary interview process just a tad easier.

1. Focus on personal branding

We all know from studying at the University of Florida that interviewing for anything in life, whether it is for an organization or job that there is going to be competition. I am sure you are a hard worker and get good grades, but so does everyone else at UF. That is why it is so important to establish your personal brand efficiently in order for you to stand out from the crowd. Your personal brand should show people who you are, your skills and what is important to you. Being different will help the interviewer remember who you are even after the interview is over. 

2. Practice interviews are everything

I cannot stress enough how important it is to prepare yourself for the interview ahead of time, especially if you are someone that tends to be shyer around people. I personally can get very nervous around people that I do not know well. Before I go into an interview, I like to jot down some notes that I want to make sure that I cover during my interview. It also really helps practicing a mock interview with one of your good friends so you have a feeling of what the interview will be like ahead of time. The Career Resource Center at UF also offers a ton of helpful services, including resume critiques and mock interviews.

3. Look good, feel good

I know this may be a cliché, but dressing for success really does play a huge role in the interview process. People do pay attention to the way you present yourself so it is crucial to stick to the dress code the interviewer recommends wearing. I personally love finding cute blouses and dress pants at stores like Loft or Banana Republic. Dressing properly is important, but also remember to stick to something you would normally wear do not pretend to be something you’re not. If you have never worn Lily Pulitzer in your life, don’t go out and buy a dress from that store just because you think it would be a good interview outfit. Be polished but comfortable as well.

4. Use your manners

Being polite and respectful to the people who are interviewing you is another way for you to stand out. Remembering the importance of eye contact, smiling and a proper handshake can go a long way. Also, thanking the interviewee for this opportunity shows that you genuinely care about being here. Taking the time to write a thank you note or email will most likely impress them and it shows that you are taking this interview process very seriously.

5. Take a chill pill 

Being prepared is crucial, but it will not do much if you are a nervous wreck. Try to take some time to unwind before your interview. Maybe watch a quick episode on Netflix, listen to some music on the walk there, or even buy yourself a little treat from Starbucks.

Getting ready for interviews can be hectic, but hopefully these tips will help you realize that you can crush that interview if you just try your best and be your authentic self!