4 SUREFIRE WAYS TO ROCK YOUR JOB INTERVIEW
BY KATELYN GRAY
Job interviews can be daunting and nerve wrecking—especially for college students and young adults who are new to the industry. It’s hard not to dwell on the million things that could potentially go wrong or feel intimidated by the setting. However, interviews are ultimately more empowering than they are terrifying. Meeting with a potential employer is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate who you are and showcase your value. Getting there however, takes some practice. Here are four surefire ways to rock your job interview:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Like anything in life, reward requires preparation. Research your potential employer and read about their company extensively. This means memorizing their mission statement, looking into their clients, competition, and becoming generally educated on the industry itself. Most importantly, try and determine what it is they are looking to add to their company by hiring you. This will make predicting and answering their questions easier. For instance, if you will be working directly with clients then you need to address occasions in which you showed great interpersonal communication skills. If you will be dealing with a lot of paperwork and a hectic schedule, discuss how you have proven to be organized and diligent in previous positions. Additionally, learn which specific skills are required of you in the job description whether that be Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, etc. In the actual interview, talk about your experience and proficiency with these programs.
Ashley DeVincenzo, recruiter for interns at 5W Public Relations, emphasizes the importance of research: “It’s very important to prepare for the interview. I love hearing when a candidate talks about one of our clients or something we have done or something they saw on our website. It shows they are genuinely interested and did their research.” Remember that the key reason for researching before the interview process is to let the interviewer know that you are committed to their organization in particular. This means that you must reflect upon your personal skills and goals in the context of their work. Don’t memorize single, vague answers to give in different interviews. Rather, research extensively to demonstrate how your professional assets and persona would be beneficial to that specific organization.
2. DRESS FOR SUCCESS
You may have heard a much-quoted saying: “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” Dressing professionally and looking your best during the interview is a great way to give a good first impression. Nina Garcia, Creative Director of Marie Claire and fashion expert, suggests that “when interviewing for any job, of course you want to dress appropriately for the position, but you also want to stay true to who you are.”
An interview is centered on your employer finding out who you are so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your outfit. Yet, it is important to stick to the perimeters of professional attire. Making a good first physical impression also means maintaining impeccable hygiene and showing up with a smile. Make the interviewer want to see you every day in the office or on the job.
3. HAVE CONFIDENCE
Confidence is always effective. On the day of the interview wake up and do things that pump yourself up and make you feel powerful. That could mean drinking your favorite coffee, listening to an upbeat playlist or doing a power pose. Waking up early and giving yourself enough time to look and feel your best is essential in establishing a confident tone for the rest of the day.
Another great way to gain confidence before a job interview is to follow the first step on this list—preparing and researching. Practice the questions and responses you have brainstormed in the mirror. If there is something you don’t know once you get there, try to maintain a calm and confident demeanor—even if you don’t really know what you’re talking about. People trust most statements articulated with confidence. Fake it until you make it!
It is also important to be prepared to explain your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, prepare questions for your employers to signal your deep interest in working with them. Your questions don’t need to be complex, but they should convey that you've been paying attention throughout the interview and are genuinely interested in what work you may be doing on a day-to-day basis.
4. BE RÉSUMÉ READY
Nicole Fallon, a journalist for Business News Daily, wrote a piece called “6 Interview Tips and Tricks” in which she curiously states that the best tip is to never be unemployed — even if you are. Fallon wrote: “Conventional job-seeking wisdom says to avoid employment gaps on your résumé. Candidates often forget that not currently having a full-time position doesn’t mean they have to look unemployed on paper. Freelancing, volunteer work and one-time projects related to your field all count as valid work experience.” Being secure with your résumé, interview question responses, and your appearance will all constitute confidence for your big interview!
If you follow these four surefire ways to rock your job interview, there is quite a good chance that you will nail your interview. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get the job, though. Remember employers often keep résumés on file and something might open up in the future. Remember, each interview gives your more practice and experience and you will start to feel more comfortable as you refine these skills each time. Good luck!