Many of you may be graduating and it’s come time to start your big kid job, or maybe your just a freshman looking for an internship. Either way, it’s never too early to start preparing yourself for success.
Let’s just think of going into a job interview as going on a blind date. You’re nervous and excited all at the same time. It’s time to see, are you the perfect fit?
- First impressions are everything
It is said that it only takes seven seconds for people to form an idea of who you are; therefore, first impressions are everything when it comes to a job interview. This is your chance to really shine and show who you are and what you are passionate about. Think to yourself: Are you approachable? Confident, but not conceited? Clean and classy? Professional?
- Make sure you’re social media image is clean
All you have to remember is the grandma rule: Are these pictures or statuses something that would be appropriate for your grandma to see? Many employers have taken the opportunity and time of research their potential employees by searching them on social media platforms. Make sure there’s nothing that could potentially hurt your image in a professional setting.
- Create an amazing resume
A resume also plays a part in first impressions and gives a glimpse of who you are and what you have accomplished. Once you’ve created your resume, it is crucial to keep it updated as you go! Make sure this expresses the best of yourself and is something you are proud of. Also, always, always, always, have extra copies of your resume on hand just in case a few more very important people join in on your interview process. Here is some powerful resume words that could help explain your duties: http://muse.cm/1kCnKEh
- Plan your “tell me about yourself” answer
Don’t just rattle off your cover letter and resume, but be prepared to answer the typical “tell me about yourself” question in a unique and professional manner. This is your chance to really shine and explain all about your successes and future aspirations.
- Arrive on time
You know that saying, “early is on time, and on time is late”. This is the time where we actually have to take this literal. Making the effort to show up to a job interview in a timely manner shows that you’re responsible, you know how to manage your time efficiently, and will most likely show up on time for work. Don’t let something so small, like not being able to show up 15 minutes early, decide whether you get a job.
- Bring a portfolio of work you have previously done
This is like a golden ticket. No matter what career path you are following, bring some of your previous work examples, or even things you have worked on in classes to show off your ability! Confidence in yourself and your work will truly go a long way!
- Dress the part
Dressing the part fits hand-in-hand with making a first impression. You definitely do not want to look sloppy when meeting your hopeful future employers, however, you do not want to be too over done with ten pounds of jewelry, make-up or cologne. Interviewees should always dress for success, and that being business attire. Here is a break down of the different levels of business attire: http://read.bi/1ssrUDq
- Have knowledge of the company
This is a given. You should without a doubt, have a base knowledge of the company you are about to go interview for. Now, you don’t have to know every little detail (although that’s not a flaw), but you do not, however, want to walk into an interview without a lick of information as to what you’re hoping to join. Make sure you do your research on what the company is about, what kind of work they do, and whom you could possibly be interviewing with.
- Use the STAR method to answer situational questions
When answering situational questions, consider using the STAR method to describe every aspect. Start out with explaining the Situation, then move on to the Task, on to the Action you took, and finally the Result. This gives off a sense of organization to your answer, as well as showing how you handle situations.
- Be upfront about your strengths and weaknesses
The interviewee may ask you to tell them about your strengths and weaknesses. Although that seems like an awful thing to talk about, it doesn’t have to be. Be prepared and able to speak about what you may be lacking, but also make sure you can talk about betting yourself and working towards improving those weaknesses. Here is how you can positively talk about your weaknesses: http://onforb.es/1ogEJOw
- Ask a closing question
Most interviewers ask if you may have a question for them at the conclusion of your visit. However, this is the opportunity to show that you’re interested in the company, your career, and possible employers. Your response: What are your expectations of me in this position? What have you enjoyed most about working here? Here are some examples and explanations of possible questions to ask your interviewer: http://onforb.es/1ngTxcm
- Follow up with a handwritten thank you note
Writing a handwritten thank you note to the person who you corresponded with during your interview process does way more than you could possibly think of. It shows that you’re dedicated and serious about this position. This is a great and professional way to express how appreciative for this opportunity, while also going the extra mile to thank the interviewees for their time and consideration.
The Texas Tech Career Center is here to help! Make an appointment for a mock interview, resume and cover letter critique, and internship and career tips. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/careercenter/
Now, just as you may be nervous and excited, preparing yourself for success may just help you stand out and win you that “second date” with the perfect fit for you!
Good luck in your future career endeavors, Red Raiders!