Let’s face it, interviews are weird. They’re uncomfortable, awkward, inorganic meetings with a lot of pressure attached to them. If you’re a recent graduate, like myself, then you know these feelings all too well. Interviews suck, but they’re an inevitable and necessary part of adult life and – believe it or not – they can work to build your confidence, too. From my experience as a millennial in the job market, I’ve come up with 10 tips that cover everything you need to know to ace your next job interview.
Do your research
Before your interview always research the company (what they do, their culture, who their clients are…) because there’s nothing more embarrassing than being asked to explain what the company that’s interviewing you does, and not knowing the answer.
Dress for success
First impressions are a massive part of interviews. Before you have a chance to open your mouth an employer gets an impression of you based on what you’re wearing, so make sure you have a good and APPROPRIATE interview outfit. Stay away from sweatpants and club attire.
Be on time
In short, time is money. This potential employer is taking time out of their busy day to interview you, so show them that their time is appreciated by arriving punctually. Show up 5-10 minutes before your interview.
Bring a copy of your resume to your interview. Of course you already sent it to your interviewer (duh, that’s how you got the interview in the first place) but it doesn’t hurt to make their lives a little easier and come with a hard copy as something to refer back to.
Easier said than done, I know, but try and be conscious of this bad habit. Fidgeting is a key sign of nervousness, and even though you are nervous, it’s in your best interest to try and appear as cool, calm, collected and confident as possible.
Sitting with your arms crossed and leaned back conveys a standoffish attitude. Sit with your arms in an open position and lean in when it’s called for. Both of these are forms of positive non-verbal communication that express a relaxed and comfortable attitude.
Don’t look like you’re drifting off into a mid afternoon daydream during your interview. Be engaged, make eye contact, nod your head and show your listening.
Think before you speak
You may think that this is obvious, but it’s good to remind yourself not to jump into answering an interviewer’s questions without thinking first. You want to emulate your best self in an interview, and taking time to answer questions shows you care (and makes for better answers).
At the end of an interview, the interviewer will most likely ask if you have any questions for them – say yes. It never hurts to come prepared with a couple good questions to ask post-interview. Asking questions shows that you are interested in what goes on in the company, and gives you a great opportunity to find out if it’s the right environment for you.
Chances are your mom has given you this same advice a couple times, but it’s important to showcase your personality! There’s no need to put added pressure on yourself to try and conform to who you think the interviewer wants you to be, just be yourself.
So, before your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy (hopefully you don’t vomit on your sweater) think back to these interview tips and remember that you (yes, you) are awesome, your skills are valuable, and you’re PREPARED.