Hello and welcome back to yet another week of my blogging antics! This week I’ve chosen a very important topic to discuss, but, then again, they’re all important. This week we are focusing on the importance of preparation for interviews. I personally believe that the interview is one of the most important phases of job search.
In case you have not had a chance to view one of my previous blogs, I encourage you to check it out because it highlights some employer expectations. Click here to see what those are.
5 Simple, Yet Serious, Interview Tips
So let’s get started! First, try to think about the different elements of an interview: your presentation / delivery, preparation and rehearsal, and lastly, the effort and confidence you put in during the “performance” (so-to-speak). Be aware that though we may always think interviews are easy, they aren’t, nor are they ever easy for some. You must remember to present yourself with confidence, and talk about applicable content that will show your competence in the future,
Tip #1: Apparel and etiquette
Do you think how you dress and act effect the end result? I mean, it comes second-nature to some, but there are some employers who are considered “traditional” who expect you to over-dress. So what if their company uniform policy is a polo and dress pants? It’s better to over-dress, anyway. Impress! When an employer meets someone for the first time they are very attentive to physical and social cues- how you are dressed is one of them.
How you act reveals character and your delivery that portrays intelligence. Employers evaluate anything and everything you do and say to aid them in making a decision. Things like body language, responses, your tone of voice, and your posture are just some examples.
Being improper in any way may create the impression that an individual lacks effort and may suggests that person does not adhere to a professional attitude.
Tip #2: Keep speech in mind, and be professional
Another thing to consider is language during your interview. Make sure that you’re prepared to speak about your skills/qualifications, any accomplishments, and have questions ready to ask at the end (always do this).
This goes directly in line with one of our #1 tips to resume writing: write it yourself. If you have someone else do it for you, an employer will be able to tell almost instantly whether or not you wrote it based on your verbal language and how it compares to your resume.
P.S. Did you know that The Career Center does mock interviews with students and alumni? You can contact them at either office to schedule one, and, for those of you interested, check out our other events scheduled for this year. Also, students interested may wish to register for the upcoming Mock Interview Day at the North Central Campus.
Tip #3: A resourceful info-graphic
Tip #4: Practice makes perfect
I really feel like this tip title is an ongoing theme of mine. Practicing for an interview is crucial. Whether it be with a Career Consultant, a family member or friend, or in front of the mirror at home, it helps. With practice you can demonstrate your readiness and confidence, and will provide the opportunity to put some thought into your answers. Oh, and most importantly, you feel more comfortable.
Practicing also shows your communication skills. If you land the interview, why not go the extra mile to get the job?
Tip #5: Recommendations for success
Most often employers ask behavioral-based questions, since these show past behaviors, and past behaviors are a prime indicator for future behavior. Prepare yourself to ask reflective questions that begin with “Tell me about a time when….”, or “How did you handle…..”. Having answers prefabricated will help you to breeze through an interview rather than feeling like your brain is being scrambled.
I myself have only been through a handful of interviews, but I have always taken any opportunity to help prepare myself by participating in mock interviews in school and outside of school.
Some Questions for Practice:
It is also very beneficial for the interviewee to express interest in the company, and have questions ready to ask the employer when given the chance, and do research on the company.
If you feel the need to build on you interview skills, feel free to come into either the North Central or Calumet Career Center and schedule and appointment. Or, to get even more experience with interviews as well as opportunities to network yourself, sign up for one of our mock interview events that occur each year.