After all your work through school, your internship, volunteering and creating an awesome resume, you finally make the cut. You make it to the next step – the job interview. Interviewing for your dream job can be very intimidating, especially if it’s your first job interview fresh out of college. Many things go into an interview and, it’s hoped, many things will come out of an interview. Important to remember – the employer is looking for you to show your personality, to see how you will fit into their organization. That means you really need to act “like yourself” – and how is that possible that when you’re so nervous?
The resume can be great and everything can line up, but a bad interview can really hurt your chances. I always tell our students, “The resume will get you the interview; the interview will then get you the job.” Follow these four tips and you will be sure to win over any employer:
- Plan ahead: Planning ahead is critical when it comes to interviewing. Think about what you’ll wear, where the interview will occur, who will be interviewing you and what type of BRAND you are promoting. The job search process is all about selling yourself with confidence; planning ahead will build the confidence you need.
- Research: This is a must! Research the employer and/or organization where you are interviewing. Visit its website and do some research on recent projects, financial reports and news articles. You’ll undoubtedly find some questions about the company; it is best to know who you are interviewing with.
- Prepare: What do you do before a big game? You practice. It isn’t any different when it comes to interviewing. Practice makes perfect – or at least closer to perfect. Generate a list of questions you think will be on the interview and practice answering them with a friend or family member. Practice your handshake and eye contact. Be conscious of how many times you say “um,” “like,” and “you know.” Get rid of all the distracting habits before you actually meet the prospective employer.
- Be your “brand”: Who are you? What type of personality do you have and what do you want to portray during the interview? The employer already has your resume so you made it this far by outlining your experience and education. Now is the time to show off! Personality and fit are the reasons most people get hired; those are qualities the employer can’t instill. Be confident in your resume, your “brand” and that you are the best fit for the position.
Hit these four basic tips and everything else will fall into place. Make the interview more a conversation than an interrogation and see how you fit into the company’s “brand” and personality as well. Remember, this is your opportunity to interview the company too. Be patient in your job search and your career soul mate will come when you least expect it.
By: Shannon Niedzwicki, Director of the Alber Student Center on the Marion Campus.