Ok, so we’ve gone through the stressfulness that is college graduation, and we’ve perfected your resume — now it’s time to nail your interview and become employed! Interviews can be nerve wracking, but they’re not so bad if you prepare correctly. It’s time to show the hiring manager why you are qualified on and off of paper. You’ve got this.
Here are 5 tips to help you crush your interview.
1. Research the company beforehand.
This is probably one of the most important things, if not the most important thing, that job seekers should do. Know who you want to work for and WHY. Know who they are, what they do, where they’ve succeeded and why you’re the missing link in their future success. They’ll be impressed.
2. Prepare certain answers in advance.
You don’t want to be completely stuck during an interview, so try to prepare some responses beforehand. Think of what the interviewer might ask you and how you will respond. One of the most important responses to prepare is your strengths and weaknesses. Be authentic with your response; don’t bullshit it. Everyone, including the interviewer, has their strengths and weaknesses. Align your strengths with the job description, leadership or the company’s values.
3. Dress to impress.
Be sure to present yourself well. Smile. Dress memorably. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Wear something that will enable the interviewer to remember you, and not in a bad way. You can always look at the company’s social media to get a pulse on how its team dresses.
4. Listen to the interviewer.
This is key. Figure out what the interviewer really wants to know. Position yourself as the person who is going to make their life easier. Make a connection with them by mirroring their body language, tonality and facial expressions. It might seem awkward, but when you try it, you’ll make a meaningful connection and a memorable impression.
5. Ask questions throughout the interview.
Stay engaged and ask questions during and at the end of the interview. If there is something you are unsure of or want to know more about, ask during a break in conversation. There isn’t a magical combination of questions that you should be asking; ask the questions that help you make a connection with the interviewer to make yourself memorable. Allow them to open up. Ask questions about company culture, company values and what is expected of you. You can also ask what the rest of the hiring process looks like. This will give you an idea of when you would expect to hear back about the job.
That just about covers it, folks. Best of luck with post-grad life, and welcome to the so-called “real world” you’ve heard so much about.