Most of us would say that interviews are intimidating. It’s a daunting process that often leaves you feeling nervous and disheveled when your intention was to create a great first impression of yourself. As a college senior, I’m at a point in my life where I’m going to have many interviews. I decided to compile a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you excel at interviews, because we can all use encouragement every now and then!
- The right amount of practice makes perfect. Of course it is important to do your research and display knowledge and passion about the position or company you’re seeking to work for. It is also a good idea to practice key points you want to address during your interview. What won’t help you out is trying to memorize your pitch word for word. You cannot predict the questions you will be asked. Having the ability to generate considerate answers on the spot demonstrates preparation and confidence.
- Be human. The person interviewing you is going to realize that you are probably stressed. Rather than trying to bolster your responses with awkward, technical vocabulary, try giving authentic answers. People are going to understand you better if they feel they can relate to you. Include both knowledge and emotion in your composure. Nobody wants to have a conversation with a robot!
- Ask questions. Your sole purpose in an interview is not to spew out answers to the questions you are asked. The objective is to have a conversation in which you engage with one another. It always helps to ask the interviewer questions about their experience as well. This is your opportunity to become better acquainted with both the person interviewing you and the company, so take advantage of it!
- Follow up. Remember to always reach out and thank the person or company for taking the time to interview you. Even if you don’t end up working for the company, you never know when future opportunities will emerge. This is a great way to build relationships and garner networking experience.
- Remember that it is okay to mess up. Maybe you walk out of an interview knowing you did a horrible job. You didn’t know the answer to that one question. You kept stumbling over your words. Whatever the reason, we all make mistakes at the end of the day. But we all have the capacity to learn from them. There will always be more opportunities, so don’t get too discouraged if you encounter obstacles.
I’ve had my fair share of interviews, and some have definitely gone better than others. I remember coming to interview for this intern position at Bravo Group feeling excited but also nervous. But I channeled my self-confidence, and here I am, writing this blog post as their PR & Communications Intern. And when it’s time for my next interview to come along, I’ll be ready.
Julia Maltz || Wayne Office