How to Ace an Interview

Reilly Van Dyke- Copy Editor

As college students, we’re all preparing ourselves for the world of internships and full-time jobs. However, seeing as everything these days is only getting more expensive and we can’t expect our parents to pay for everything, it can be nice to have a part-time job to help us out along the way. If you’ve never had a job before and are worried about the interview process, or if you have ever had a job interview that for one reason or another went horribly wrong, here are ten tips to help guide you in the right direction. While they may seem small and insignificant, doing each of these things can add up and make a big difference. With a little guidance you might get that part-time job while you’re still in school and maybe even land you your dream job someday.

Dress For Success
No matter what situation we’re in, the way we present ourselves sends a message to those around us, and the way we dress is a form of self-expression. Going into a job interview dressed nicely makes you appear professional and sends the employer the message that you want the job. “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

Project Confidence
It has been said that the most attractive quality in a person is confidence. So even if you’re nervous and not feeling the least bit confident, have some faith in yourself and do the best you can. Even if you have to fake it, projecting yourself as a confident person is going to make the employer want you to work for their company because they’ll know just how capable you are.

Be Prepared
Going into an interview, having prepared everything you need to ahead of time will show the employer that you’re responsible, you care about not wasting their time and that being hired means something to you. So get there five minutes early, print out your resume beforehand and definitely make sure your cellphone is on silent.

Know Why You Want the Job
One of the scariest questions you could be asked in a job interview is, “Why do you want this job?” It’s best to take the previous tip and put it to good use. Take the time before your interview to really think about why you want to work for a specific company and what your goals are. Formulate an answer that shows you’re interested in a certain career field and what the company has to offer.

Be Flexible
At some point during your interview, make sure to say “I’m flexible.” Whether it’s in response to a question or if you’re just letting the employer know something important about you, this will show that you have everyone’s best interests at heart and that you’re will to adjust and make changes for the greater good of the company.

Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact with the interviewer also  projects a sense of confidence and shows that  you’re listening and focused. It sends the message that they have your attention, you’re serious about getting the job and you’re engaged in the conversation topic.

Have A Firm Handshake
A firm handshake may seem like a small detail, but it is one more thing you can do to show that you’re professional, responsible and polite. It sends the message that you have respect for the employer and appreciate them taking the time to meet with you.

When all else fails, smile. Smiling shows that you have a positive, energetic attitude and that you’re happy to be there. Smiling is way to let people know that you’re friendly and approachable and will help others to let their guard down and be open with you.

Be a Team Player
A big part of any work environment is working together with others, either in small groups or in teams. If given the opportunity, don’t hesitate to let your employer know that you enjoy working with others, and this will let them know that you have good communication skills. By being able to effectively communicate, you will be able to easily work together and accomplish all your tasks.

Prepare a Resume
Having a resume of all your previous education, work experience and volunteer/extracurricular activities is an important step in presenting yourself to a potential employer. It’s a way to show them all the hard work you’ve done and all the life experience you have that makes you the ideal candidate for the position. A resume usually includes a cover page and follows a specific format. If you’re interested in revising your resume, or if you’ve never made one before and aren’t sure how to go about it, you can stop by The Career Development Center in room 110 of Netzer. They can help you create or edit an existing resume to make sure it’s in the correct formatting.

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