I can remember my first job interview, I was 16 trying to get a job in the mall. I was so nervous, I didn’t know what questions would be asked or how I should answer them. I tried to think back to my DECA training lol, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember a thing (this was a club that allowed teens to practice interviewing skills, etc). When I got there the manager was already cursing and complaining about his employees, which made matters worse. In total the interview was a complete disaster, however it was a definite learning experience.
Fast forward to today where I have been on numerous interviews and oral boards, conducted numerous interviews and sat on oral boards. Why do I bring this up, well because I get a lot of questions about interviewing tactics, tips and how to answer certain questions. So I decided to put a little of my advice on how to kill your job interview in the universe.
A few things to know;
- Its okay to be nervous, it is even acceptable to verbalize your feelings in a professional way. (it can even be a ice breaker, or an excuse if you stutter or loose your words.)
- Get there early! It will show your prospective employer you are prompt and start you off on a good foot. ( you can also use this time calm your nerves, I will often use review any company related pamphlets they may have sitting out.)
- Try to stay off your phone; this is more of a preference thing, but in my opinion it something that should be done. The interview starts when you walk in the door, you don’t want the first impression you make to be you sitting with your face in your phone.
- Before getting to the prospective job, do a little research on the company, know what their mission statement is, know their values and what is being said by employees (Glassdoor has a great feature to help with this). Doing this will help develop and answer questions.
- Bring a copy of your resume, you may have already provided this but it never hurts to be prepared.
- LOOK THE PART; I know you may not want to over dress, but you’d rather that then be underdressed. If you don’t have dress clothes and you aren’t able to get any, iron your clothes and tuck your shirt to look polished, show them you put in effort. Appearance is the first thing your prospective employer notices and JUDGES.
- Work on your handshake; this is an extension of your introduction, when you enter a room whether its one person or multiple people. Shake everyone’s hand and introduce yourself.
- Have your answers prepared; you can google numerous interview questions and prep your answers.
- Limit your Um’s; If you are thinking about your answer, instead of saying umm, uhh or hmm. Take a second to gather your thoughts, with a pause. Then say what you need to.
- EVERYONE HAS A WEAKNESS; please don’t say you cant think of one, if/when you are asked this question you want to be slightly political with this answer; For Example; one of my weaknesses is time management, so I plan my work and day so that I stay on top of my tasks.
- Be confident; you may not be fully qualified for the position but be confident about your skills, and be prepared with your selling points. Meaning have rebuttals ready, examples: I am willing to learn more about this position, I’m a fast learner, I can adapt to change, I enjoy challenges, etc.
- The infamous “tell me about yourself”; please don’t answer this with your life story, we don’t need to know where you’re from or what your favorite color is. What interviewers really mean when they ask this question is “why should we care about you”. Answer this question concisely and clearly, what is your personal mission statement (everyone should have one). This should be a few key points about yourself to help you stand out. Example; I’m a person who prides myself on having integrity…….so on and so forth
- If you are in an panel/oral board style interview, direct your answers to the individual who asked it. This will help with the nerves that may be caused by the intimidating nature of this style of interview.
- Don’t chew gum
- Keep your posture in mind, its apart of appearance.
- Bring a notepad
In the end, when going on a job interview, you should take yourself serious no matter what position you are interviewing for. Be prompt, polite and professional, think before you speak and most of all remember the 7 P’s; Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance lol. Im sorry guys I love that saying it’s so true. But all in all I hope that this helps someone.medianet_width = “728”; medianet_height = “90”; medianet_crid = “847585963”; medianet_versionId = “3111299”; //contextual.media.net/nmedianet.js?cid=8CUPLFP88