Interviewing: 10 Hot Tips

by Merill Read

Many of us are at the point where we’ve landed jobs for either post-college or for summer break, have applied to certain internships and job openings, or are working for places that we’ve worked for in the past. No matter where you are in the process, one thing that is a standard part of this application process is interviews.

Everyone’s reactions to interviews are different. Maybe you’re born to be interviewed, going on for days about your many extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, and heavy course load. Maybe you’re introverted and it takes you hours to prepare in order to have a fluid response to possible questions. Maybe you’re in the middle of the two and you’re indifferent.

Whatever your reaction may be to interviews, they’re a fairly standard and important aspect of applying to new positions. I won’t pretend to be an expert in interviews– in fact, last month I asked a potential employer about their company’s retention rate and he responded with “why..?”– but I have picked up on a few tips from multiple people through my own process that I thought was worth sharing during this crunch time on applications.

Tips for Interviews:

  1. Be yourself– Don’t pretend to know something you don’t know and don’t miss brand yourself. DO make the not-so-great-aspects more appealing, but don’t lie about it.
  2. Make an impression– Whether it’s your cover letter, resume, or interview, make sure they remember you. Tailor them to the position you’re applying to using the job description.
  3. Dress appropriate– No matter the profession, dress to impress. Even if you are overdressed, that is better than underdressed.
  4. Take a deep breath– Employers know you’re nervous. Just calm down, breathe, and act as you would with an adult you know.
  5. Don’t be afraid to brag– Obviously don’t over do it, but they don’t know you. This is the one acceptable time to talk to your strengths, experiences, and personality.
  6. KNOW the position you’re applying for– You need to get across to the employer why you’re qualified for the position and tie in your fit to these descriptions when you speak about yourself.
  7. Be personable– People want to work with people they like. If you create a small relationship with your interviewer, they’re more likely to want you on their team/in their company.
  8. Take every step seriously– If you have a phone screening, you should really take that step seriously if you want to make it to the next round. Practice potential questions, know the company, and go to a quiet area.
  9. Make sure your online presence is up-to-date– Linkedin profiles and handshake should be up to date because employers will cross-examine them.
  10. Be persistent and network– you shouldn’t let one rejection keep you out of the game. Take the relationships you make and use them to your advantage to meet new people and strengthen your network in that field.

All in all, interviews are as scary as you make them. If you’re prepared and confident, speaking to a potential employer can be easy and fun. Remember, no matter what, you will be just fine and no rejection or acceptance can define you!