8 Steps to Ace That Interview

It’s a scary fact that many employers decide within 10 minutes whether a candidate is right for the position. You may be prepared for the interview in the sense that you’ve researched the company, memorized your strengths, and thought of good questions to ask the interviewer but, the point of an interview is for the hiring mangers to see if they like you in person. Don’t fret my friends, there is a formula for walking out of every interview thinking, “Nailed it.”

Step 1. Dress sharp. Unless you’re interviewing for a position as a yoga teacher, any type of stretchy pants are out. That goes for dark, light, or any other shade of jeans. The safest way to go is a two piece suit, or a dress and blazer, in dark colors. Business casual is not merely a suggestion.

Step 2. Complete your look with a classic watch, a belt (if appropriate), presentable outerwear if the weather calls for it, and very subtle jewelry for girls. Stud earrings and/or a small chain necklace will make you look pulled together without causing a distraction. Pay attention to details! Knowing you are flawless from head to toe will help instill confidence.

Step 3.Be 15-30 minutes early. Your arrival may be the hiring manager’s first impression of you, so make it count. This will not only make you punctual, but give you extra time to fill out paperwork. Some people like to go over their resume and notes one last time as well. The earlier you are, the more calm and collected you will feel by the time the actual interview takes place.

Step 4. Take a few sips of water and breath while you wait. Reviewing your notes before an interview is good practice, but remember you’re not crunching for an exam. Take the time to assert to yourself that you are prepared, you are qualified, and you are confident. Sit up a little straight, put on a smile, and be relaxed.

Step 5. If you’re kept waiting for a while, be careful not to show any agitation. Be aware of your body language and facial expressions. Try to avoid checking your phone once you’re in the building. 60% of CareerBuilder surveyed employers say they view checking texts and phone calls negatively.

Step 6. Smile and shake hands like you mean it, because you are self-assured and happy to be there. It’s cliche, but clammy, limp hands make you seem timid. If you tend to get damp palms when you’re nervous, carry tissues to the interview and dry your hands inconspicuously before you see the interviewer.

Step 7. When you answer questions, talk slowly. Many people talk quickly when they are nervous. Be assertive in answering, ask them thoughtful and intelligent questions, and at the conclusion of the interview thank the person for their time and say you enjoyed meeting with them.

Step 8. Get a business card, or at the very least the email address, of your interviewer. Send them a thank-you email within 24 hours. This is will reinforce that you’re professional and set you apart from other candidates who may have neglected this step.

Ready for the thank-you email? Follow up next week and we’ll tell you all you need to know about sending a thank you email to employers.

You may also like:
The IT List: Interview Attire
Preparing For An Interview
Networking Your Way to the Top

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January is “Get Organized Month” – Career Edition

Get Organized - Career EditionLast year we brought you organization made easy, and it’s once again time to clear some of the clutter that’s built up over the past year and start over fresh. If you missed our posts last year, check them out for ways to organize your schoolwork, desk, dorm, or closet. Being organized is a skill that never gets old whether you’re keeping your shoes from being all over the floor or applying for jobs and internships.When developing the beginnings of your career, keeping track of your activities, assignments, and achievements can also help make you visible to future employers. Something to consider if you are in a field like journalism, marketing, the arts or any other creative field is creating an online portfolio.

Even if you are in engineering, accounting, or law there is merit to a website or forum for which to showcase past and current projects according to an article in the NY Times.

Posting consistent records of your work online will help to you stand out, make it easy to build a resume, and can create job leads if a potential employer stumbles across your work.

Position Yourself—Brands use positioning statements as a way to help them create a more concise brand image. For example, BMW is the Ultimate Driving Machine. How will you brand yourself? A good positioning statement identifies you (College Junior, Senior etc.), explains what differentiates you (Honors, Awards, or Experience), and speaks to your target audience (Employers). It should also give a sense of what you’ve done, what you’re doing now, and where you’re focus is for the future. Be short and to the point.


“I am a college junior currently pursuing an honors Bachelor of Marketing degree at B&N University, and I am interested in pursuing an internship in the retail consumer marketing field. I recently received a first place award for the TC marketing completion, and am currently working on completing my undergraduate thesis.”

Positioning statements are great for use in an “about me” section on your portfolio, or if employers ask you about yourself.

Get it Together – Gather samples of your best writing, presentations, and projects and save them all in one folder along with your resume and a document listing people you could use as references.

Go for Professional Advice – Go to your campus career center or a trusted professional for help on creating your resume. They can help you determine what is appropriate to include or not include on your resume, and even help your create a professional format. Additionally, if you’re thinking about building a portfolio they may be able to help you pick out samples of your work and projects that showcase your talent best.

Get Online— Depending on your major and aspirations you may want to use a free portfolio platform, set up your own website domain (which can cost less than $10 a year), or use blog to display your content. Free portfolio platforms are great for a portfolio that mainly consists of writing samples. Some free ones include FolioHD, Carbonmade and Behance. Slideshare is a free online platform for displaying presentations. Prezi is also a way to display your work and creativity. Explore your options and determine which is most suitable for you!

Now not only are all set up to begin searching for that internship or entry-level job, but definitely ahead of the competition. How do you stay ahead in the current competitive job market? Tweet us your tips @BNcollege or let us know in the comments below.

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25 Twitter Hashtags That Will Help You Get a Job

Looking for a job after college can be intimidating. At times, it can feel like you’ve reached a dead end and don’t know where else to look, but don’t give up! It’s simply time to get creative. Edudemic has a list of career-based Twitter chats and their corresponding hashtags! Job-hunting can be as simple as logging into your Twitter account.

This chat offers great advice when it comes to applications, interviews, and any other topics you might want to discuss. It takes place every Monday at 10pm EST so join in!

YouTern, an extremely useful internship resource, hosts this weekly chat every Monday at 9pm EST. They discuss all things internship-related, from networking to building a solid resume.

Want advice regarding HR topics, recruitment, social media matters and more? Check out the #NextChat hashtag on Wednesdays at 3pm EST.

For the full list of career-focused hashtags, read the article here. Do you know have any other social media advice for us? Post a comment below!

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