Job interviews are often quite intimidating – you don’t know what the interviewer is going to ask, you don’t know how many people you’re competing against, and you don’t know what you should wear. The list could go on!
The good news, however, is that job interviews don’t have to be nerve-racking. We compiled a list of tips and tricks to help Mohawk students nail their next job interview.
Do Your Research
You should always go into an interview with some knowledge of the company and, if possible, some knowledge about the interviewer(s) and the employee or department head you will be reporting to.
Having some of this basic knowledge will prepare you if the interviewer(s) ask you about what you know about the company, if there is anything you particularly like that the company is doing, or areas where the company could improve.
Don’t Cross Anything
We mean this in a very physical sense – try not to cross your arms, legs, etc., as it may make you seem closed off, defensive, and/or arrogant. Be aware of your body language – sit or stand with good posture, maintain comfortable eye contact, have a friendly facial expression, etc.
Find Calming Methods
If you do happen to find yourself nervous before you walk into your interview, try to work beforehand to develop some calming methods. Some calming methods that may be useful include:
- Go for a walk if you can
- Listen to music
- Practice deep breathing
- Plan something to do after that you can look forward to
- Try to think of the interview as just being ‘a conversation’
- Call up a friend who can motivate you
- Give yourself a pep talk
Don’t Throw Anybody Under the Bus
Do not throw anybody, including previous places of employment, under the bus during your interview. This will most likely come across as unprofessional which is not a quality that the interviewer will be looking for.
Smiling during an interview can benefit you in a number of ways. Smiling will make you more approachable (the opposite of what crossing your arms may do), and it will also give off a sense of confidence.
So, if you’re feeling a little nervous during your interview strike a smile and it may just give you that boost of confidence you need.
Dress to Impress
When we say dress to impress, this doesn’t necessarily mean put on your best suit or your best dress. What we mean is dress appropriately for the interview you are going to be walking into. For example, you may want to dress more formally if you are interviewing at a law firm. On the other hand, you may want to dress a little more casually if you are interviewing at a landscape company.
If you have an interview coming up and are in need of some professional clothing, the MSA can help you out. The MSA offers a free Career Closet service that is available to students at all campuses. The Career Closet provides students with access to gently-used professional clothing and accessories to help students prepare for their dream job. Students can pick out two outfits to keep and use in the future
Here’s a list of some of the items that can be found at the Career Closet:
· Collared shirts
· Ties and belts
· Skirts and dresses
· Dress pants and khakis
· Dress shoes
· Heels and flats
Show Up on Time
There is nothing worse than someone who shows up late to an interview. Showing up late may leave the interviewer with the impression that you don’t take the company or the job seriously which is not a good first impression.
If you do happen to show up late, apologize to the interviewer(s), explain to them why you were late, and thank them for their patience.
More often than not, when you’re almost at the end of the interview, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. Always come with two to three questions. Having a few questions prepared will show your interviewer that you truly are interested in the job, it can help with your decision to take the job (if you are offered it), and it can be one last opportunity to show your knowledge of the company.
Here are some examples:
· What is the workplace atmosphere like?
· What is the dress code?
· What does a typical day look like?
· How many people are you/will you be interviewing?
· Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with or working closely with?
By implementing these tips, getting prepared beforehand, and by just being yourself, you can take some of the fear away that you may be associating with your upcoming interview(s).
Good luck, Mohawk!
Written by: Paige Petrovsky