Before you get any job, you have to go and meet people face to face in an interview. For the majority of people, we wish we could just skip this step of the job process. Just reading the word, “interview”, you probably get a dreaded feeling inside. In order to help you get over your fear of interviews, STAC’s Career Development Office held an event recently that was all about interviews and they offered free pizza to whoever came! If interview advice didn’t entice you to come, the delicious free pizza should have. I will share some of the tips I found helpful and that will hopefully benefit you too.
- Before your interview, make sure you take some time to prepare for it. An interview is definitely not something you should wing on the spot.
- Have your outfit ready at least a week before the interview. Make sure everything is clean and looks professional. First impressions do make or break your chance of getting the job.
- Always remember when you greet the interviewer to smile, look them in the eye and give them a firm handshake.
- Know yourself- career goals, skills, strengths, accomplishments, interests
- Know your employer- products, services, organizational structure. Do your research; it will benefit you if the employers see how interested you are.
- When the interviewer asks if you have any questions – never say no!
- Avoid nervous habits- touching your hair, fidgeting, and moving your hand or foot constantly, avoid chewing gum.
- Speak positively about yourself! Don’t say “pretty good,” “maybe,” “I think,” or “sort of,” when describing yourself.
- Avoid the classic “um,” “like,” “you know,” to fill gaps when you aren’t talking; it is okay to take a few seconds to pause and gather your thoughts
- Look up examples of questions commonly found in interviews and practice what you would say…but just bullet point notes, don’t try to memorize answers word for word. You will sound scripted.
- When answering behavior questions, use the STAR Technique and make sure your answers don’t go over a minute or two unless asked to share more.
- Situation- Describe the situation where you faced a challenge with detail so the interviewer knows exactly how YOU were a part of it.
- Task- What were you trying to achieve?
- Action- What did YOU do, even if it is a group or team project, describe what you did and less what “we” did.
- Result- What happened? How did it end? What did you learn?
- Immediately following the interview, write a thank you letter to who you met with. Even if you aren’t interest in the job after the interview, you should still send a thank you letter.
I hope these tips are a benefit to you for your next interview and make sure you attend future career events to help you reach your career goals! Also on the STAC website, on the Career Development page, under Student Resources, you can find a helpful site called, “Big Interview.” It shares answers to common interview questions and questions commonly found in your job field. You can even practice mock interviews on the website! It is a great resource to look into and help your next interview run smoothly.