12 Interview Tips and Tricks to get you a Fall Job
Its job-hunting season for those looking to make a little extra cash in between, before, or after classes! Which means that soon enough, you will probably (hopefully) find yourself in an interview sometime soon. If your interview-taking skills are feeling a bit rusty (I know mine are), this post is for you. These tips will try to go beyond the usual dress professional, don’t chew gum, shake their hand, etc. that you’ve likely already heard.
I should warn you that my tips aren’t 100% universal, as interview etiquette varies according to the situation, some interviews being more formal than others, so please make your own judgements and exercise discretion about which tips you want to follow. So, here are a few things to keep in mind when you get you walk into your interview:
1. Know what kind of interview you are going to be participating in (individual, group, panel, etc.) so that you can prepare yourself accordingly. Thinking that you’re going in for a formal one-on-one interview and findings yourself in the midst of a group meet and greet can be awkward and risks throwing you off your game.
2. Review the job proposal and any qualifications that the ideal applicant would have so that you can tailor your answers (without lying) to meet these expectation.
3. Subtly incorporate you strongest skills into your answers and base answers off of legitimate experiences. You should be able to prove that you’re qualified by having examples of related experiences (and yes, experiences working in group projects or volunteer positions count).
4.Don’t over do it. Be as natural as possible, and yes, that can allow you some room to be a little nervous. It’s really obvious when you are trying too hard which can come off as desperate or overbearing.
5.If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated instead of giving a completely irrelevant answer. The interviewers won’t judge you for needing the question repeated, but they will judge you if you don’t answer the question that they asked.
6.Don’t try too hard to be humorous. If a joke happens naturally, that’s okay, but remember that humour often relies on shared experience and some knowledge of both the audience and the “joker”…. So if this is your very first time meeting the interviewer(s), your sense of humour could be misinterpreted and cause more harm than good if used in the inappropriate setting. (i.e. if you’re super sarcastic, an interview is NOT the time to unleash your inner Chandler Bing.)
7.Turn your phone off. ’Tis rude. Plus, vibration sounds are distracting and the last thing you want is to lose your train of thought.
8. Be passionate, not boastful.
9.Non-verbal communication is a thing. Remember to maintain eye contact, open body language, and good posture. It makes a huge difference. Just don’t over do the eye contact…. It’s not a staring contest.
10.Less is sometimes more. Try to avoid rambling or repeating things more than necessary. And remember that if you’re starting to feel like you’re rambling, it is okay to pause for a beat. Breath.
11. Listen closely to what is being asked the first time it is said and then take care to answer the question. Take a few seconds to formulate your thoughts ensuring that they address every part of the question. Silence in the room is okay when you are pausing to think through your answers.
12. I know this sounds cliché, but always be yourself. The more genuine you are, the better. You want to be hired based on who you truly are, not a fabricated concoction of the ideal candidate.