In today’s economy, it seems nearly impossible for a soon-to-be grad to successfully search, apply, and interview for a job. Having gone on two interviews since September, I have exhibited several do’s and don’ts of interviewing. The following tips will help the interview process go as smoothly as possible:
Do your research. Most, if not all, organizations have company Web sites- this makes finding out about the company’s history, mission, and overall practices ridiculously easy. If the company does not have a Web site, directly request information from them. This shows your interest in the organization and may give you a leg up on the competition.
Do a trial run. Make sure to visit the interview location before the big day. It is interview suicide to show up late. The interviewer doesn’t care if you are “directionally challenged” and got lost on your way there. Try to arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Do bring copies of your resume. The interviewer should have a copy of your resume but make sure to bring extras. This is a must if you have changed your resume, they need the most up-to-date copy. Also, you never know who you’ll meet along the way- you could run into a potential employer on the elevator.
Do dress for success. Please, my peers, look the part. This means ironing or dry cleaning your clothes before the interview. Ladies and gentlemen, wear a suit and a non-offensive (not too brightly colored or patterned) shirt. Do not wear overbearing cologne or perfume, excessive makeup or jewelry. When it comes to professional dress KISS- keep it simple stupid.
Don’t smoke before the interview. This is a perfect time to utilize the non-smoking patch your mom gave you for your birthday. Never show up to an interview smelling like smoke. This may have a negative impact on the interview.
Don’t rely on your resume or application to do the selling. The interviewer has looked over your resume- that’s how you got the interview! Now is the time to expand on and introduce new information to your potential employers. Before the interview, remind yourself “I am the best person for this job”- now you have to show them why. You have to be able to sell yourself and what you have to offer the company.
Don’t lie. Do not lie during an interview. Be truthful to your potential employer. This is the only way to start a good, working relationship. Also, never talk negatively about a past employer or colleague- it is extremely unprofessional.
Don’t ever NOT ask questions. Have a question list prepared and write down or make a mental note of questions throughout the interview. Not asking questions shows a lack of interest in the organization. I was able to make a lasting impression during an interview by asking questions. The recruiter said I asked excellent questions that she had not been asked before. If you are still unsure of what questions to ask, consult the internet Gods, also known as Google. A Google search of “questions to ask during an interview” will result in a plethora of potential questions.
Follow these steps. Be prepared. And get excited for your potential job!