When trying to secure a job it is imperative to be prepped and ready for the always important interview. Interviews often make or break you when deciding between you and another candidate for an internship or a job. There are many little things that go into an interview that most people do not know about from what you wear, how you speak, to where you look while interviewing. In this post I will give some pointers on how to properly interview.
1. Always dress for success- Unless your interview is over the phone the first impression that you will make on a potential employer is the way you look. If you show up to an interview wearing sweat pants and a letterman jacket that is obviously not a good first impression. If you are a guy always wear a dress shirt, dress pants, dress shoes, and a tie. A suit is optional, but encouraged. If you are a girl you can wear many things such as a nice blouse or a dress and nice shoes to make you look professional.
2. Research the company- It is likely that the interviewer will ask you some questions about how you can help the company. Describe what you have learned about the company in detail and how you can apply your skills to help the company achieve its goals better than the next candidate.
3. Eye contact- This trait is very underrated during interviews. If you constantly play with your thumbs and look around the room this does not leave a good impression on the interviewer. Although it may be because of nerves it is likely that the interviewer will see it as inattentiveness and may seem like you are uninterested in the job.
4. Use personal contacts- If you know somebody already working at the company make sure to mention their name at some point during the interview. If that person makes a good recommendation of you then odds are the employer will be looking your way for a potential hire.
5. Be honest- When the interviewer asks you questions about your past make sure to be completely honest. If the interviewer later finds out that you lied or made something up then it is unlikely that they will hire you because if you lie in an interview then it is assumed that you could lie while working for the company.
6. Turn your phone off- This is an obvious one, but my boss over the summer told me that you would be surprised at how many people’s phones go off during an interview. She also said that you would be even more surprised at how many people answered the phone. So the lesson learned here is that if your phone goes off don’t panic just silence it and continue on with the interview.
7. Strengths and weaknesses- This ties into the researching the company point because you must describe how you can help the company, but you must also address your weaknesses. The worst things you can say when asked about your weaknesses are “I have no weaknesses” or “I care too much”. Nobody is perfect so everyone should be able to identify at least one weakness within themselves. A tip that I advise everyone to utilize is to describe how you are working on your weakness to make it into a strength. This way the interviewer will know that you are aware of it and are doing your best to work on it.
8. Willingness to learn and go the extra mile- Building off the last point it is also a good idea to point out, not only a weakness of yours, but a point in time when you corrected that weakness and the steps of how you did it. This will further show the company that you are dedicated and willing to correct a problem when it occurs.
9. Ask questions- When interviewing for a job the interviewer will most likely ask you if you have any questions that he or she can answer for you. Make sure to always come prepared with at least a few questions. Try to steer these questions towards the company’s direction because that will further demonstrate your interest in the position and the company in general.
10. Bring extra copies of your resume, references, and portfolio work- It is safe to assume that the interviewer has obviously seen your resume and references before, but if they ask for it on the spot you better be prepared. If you have them then it gives the interviewer the impression that you are always prepared. Make sure to bring your portfolio work as well to show off some of the work you have already done in the field. This will also create a lasting impression in the interviewers head as to what you can do for their company.