Interviews can be a tremendously nerve-racking experience, especially for those students who are about to graduate or have recently graduated. With the majority of us having little to no experience in the realm of interviews, I have compiled a list with simple Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to interviews. With these up your sleeve you’ll be sure to succeed and finally take on that real world, ready.
A few little tips to help you succeed!
Be punctual: Make sure you’ve planned a sure-fire way of getting to your interview, ensuring that you arrive 10 minutes early. If disaster strikes and you can’t arrive on time, ring your interviewer and let them know with plenty of time to spare.
Dress appropriately: Be sure to present yourself in a neat, clean and professional manner. How you dress depends on the workplace, so use your intuition. You wouldn’t wear a suit to a workplace where employees are dressed casually, in the same way you wouldn’t wear jeans and a t-shirt to a law firm. If in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to dress up rather than down
Know your resume: Know the ins and outs of your resume; this will assist you greatly when you are asked questions about your education or current experiences.
Make eye contact: Remember to look your interviewer in the eye, there is nothing more unprofessional than talking to the wall or to their shoes! If you find looking someone in the eyes uncomfortable, look at the bridge of their nose or between their eyebrows; this comes across as looking them in the eye. Unwavering eye contact can be just as unprofessional and uncomfortable as none and all, so be sure to act in a natural and engaging manner.
Have questions prepared: Make sure you have brainstormed questions to ask your potential employer prior to your interview. This shows initiative, curiosity and forward thinking – something that all employers will be looking for.
Be confident: Remember you are the sole reason that you landed this interview, you have the necessary skills and requirements; don’t let the daunting side of interviews ruin your confidence. You’ve got this!
Be yourself: This is your main chance to sell yourself to your potential future employer, embrace this moment and try to have fun with it!
A few little nasties to avoid!
Don’t answer questions with one worded answers: Avoid answering questions with a simple yes or no, elaborate on why you are giving this answer and provide some sort of example or thought to be paired with it.
Lie: As easy as it seems to talk yourself up or give yourself skills/experience that you don’t actually have, these little white lies can often come back to bite you in the butt in interviews. Be truthful in your resume and during your interview, as a question may be asked on a specific topic and if you don’t know the answer like you claimed, you might be left looking like a fool.
Ask about salary in a brash manner: As keen as we all are to know how much $$$ we are going to be paid, this conversation is best handled carefully. Interviewers will expect this question from interviewees; knowing the value of your labor is a key decision point in accepting a position or not, however be sure to handle this talking point with poise and awareness.
Fidget or sit there like a Mona Lisa: Restlessness and complete lack thereof is often off putting to a potential employer. Speak to the interviewer as if they were a respected friend – devote your full attention to them, listen to them intently and behave in a relaxed but appropriate manner.
By Eloise Logan