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

1. Do your research ahead of time 

Nothing is worse than going into an interview feeling unprepared and overwhelmed. Doing outside research ahead of time will be able to not only give you an edge when your interviewer asks you technical questions, but it will also help ease any nerves going into the interview because you can coordinate how to structure responses ahead of time and get an insight into how to relate to the culture and values of the company, research group, or organization.

Anna Schultz-Hands On Laptop
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

2. First Impressions Matter

Make sure to come dressed to impress! DO wear professional attire even if the interview does not specify a dress code as this move can be the first step into impressing your interviewer. Do NOT wear any article of clothing that is too revealing, exposes tattoos, or would be deemed as inappropriate. Moderate or natural makeup is a must–don’t go overboard with colorful fun looks unless you’re interview calls for it. Small details such as having your nails done, hair styled, and heels can also make a huge impact when your interviewer first sees you. The most common color to wear to an interview is navy blue, however if you apply to a position that requires you to express your style creatively, then make sure to follow their guidelines! The most important aspect is to find an outfit that compliments you and gives a preview of your personality. 

3. Be prepared to answer all questions, even the tough ones

Interview questions can be rough. My most feared question is always, “What is your biggest weakness?”. While it can be uncomfortable to explain something such as your biggest weakness, it is important to remain calm and choose an option that is actually a weakness yet can be turned into a strength. Meaning, be sure to explain that while your weakness is what it is, you believe that you can improve upon it or that you have been working on it recently and go into more specific details. One of the best methods to format responses is to utilize the Star Method. With this method you will explain a STAR, or situation, task, action, and result that relates to the question you were asked to answer. This way you are able to answer not only the question, but you can also demonstrate how you would potentially react on the job. 

a pink neon "and breathe" sign over a plant wall
Max van den Oetelaar | Unsplash

4. Don’t forget to follow up!

After an interview, make sure to express your gratitude for being offered the ability to interview, shake the interviewer’s hand while maintaining eye contact, and smile! Whether or not you get the position, it is always a good idea to follow up with either an email or hand-written letter to once again express your thanks for the opportunity. If you did receive an offer (yay!) make sure to also inquire about the next steps in moving forward with the position. Altogether no matter how long it may take to land the job you interviewed for, remember that you are an incredibly capable and talented individual who WILL THRIVE whatever the outcome may be. 

Callista Ordonez

Washington '22

Callista is a second year student at the University of Washington studying Global Public Health! She is from Southern California and enjoys trying new foods, hanging out with friends, and kayaking on the lake.