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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Summer Job Series: Internship Wrap-Up

Many of us have started the countdown until we move back into college, but let’s not jump the gun just yet. If you are still working at an internship, here are the ways to wrap it up, show your appreciation, and end on good terms. You can also do some of these things whether you’re working at a clothing store, restaurant, day camp, or anywhere!

FINAL WEEKS

  1. Ask for feedback. It’s important to learn how you performed. Ask your supervisor if you can go over your strengths and areas to improve upon.
  2. Talk to your colleagues about your career plans, they might have some helpful insight and advice that you would never think of. After all, they’ve been in the field longer than you have.
  3. Ask for a reference. This will help on your resume or a recommendation letter for future internships and jobs. Here is how to ask for one!
  4. Gather contact information: This goes along with keeping in touch. Get their full names, email addresses, phone numbers, and maybe their LinkedIn accounts.

LAST DAY

  1. Ask yourself this: did I like my internship? Why or Why not? Use this to determine how to move forward with where you want to go.
  2. This one goes without saying, but say thank you! These people have taken their time to teach you, mentor you, and help you have an experience of a lifetime! Make sure you thank everyone you need to! Let them know how much you appreciate their time.

POST-INTERNSHIP

  1. Follow up with handwritten Thank You notes.

    Follow-up with handwritten thank you notes to all the people you worked with/for. This will make you stand out against you colleagues who send an email.

  2. Update your resume! Add in your new experiences and what you’ve accomplished.
  3. Keep in touch with your supervisor. They can keep you posted on future job openings and will be a valuable resource.

Completing your internship can only open more doors towards bigger and better things. Wrapping up your final days properly will be beneficial to you in the future!

Written by Guest Blogger, Maria Cafferata

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Summer Job Series: Internship Success

Taking part in an internship is an exciting experience that offers a lot of opportunity for learning and growth. We’re here to help you make the most of your time as an intern. Check out this next installment to our Summer Job Series and you’ll be wowing everyone in no time!

1. Follow the rules: If you’re supposed to be at work by 9am, then be at work by 9am. If you’re given an hour for lunch, don’t take an hour and a half. Stick to the rules and follow directions. If there’s a dress code, follow it – even it seems like other people might not.

2. Be friendly, but professional: Be friendly with other employees but stay professional. Avoid gossip or office politics and stay focused on the task at hand. Form connections and use the time to network.

3. Be prepared for all tasks: Even if a task seems menial, keep your eyes on the bigger picture. Appreciate that just working in the office setting is a learning experience. Soak up everything you can and have a positive attitude. This leads us to our next tip…

4. Be enthusiastic: Approach everything with enthusiasm. Ask questions and show an interest in what is going on. This shows your employer that you are motivated and eager to learn about the industry.

5. Do your work correctly and thoroughly: Doing your work correctly is not just about impressing your boss, it is also a lesson for you. You’ll learn more from each task if you complete it thoroughly. Don’t cut corners or do the bare minimum – really invest yourself in what you’re doing.

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