Although it’s hard to imagine during these cold, blustery “spring” days, summer is just around the corner. With that in mind, it’s never too early to start thinking about summer employment. Not to sound like a nagging mother, but it’s important to send your applications everywhere in hopes of landing an interview. Once you get that fateful phone call asking you to come in for a quick meeting and a look over your résumé, you might be at a loss for what to do next. Before you frantically iron your suit and practice your “business handshake,” read these tips from Jeffrey Carroll, an employee service representative at American Greetings headquarters in Cleveland, for tips on having a successful interview.
1. The No. 1 trick to nailing an interview is researching the company beforehand. It’s wise to know what the company produces as well as their values. Also, it’s good to be informed about the company’s history and culture.
2. Bring a spare copy of your résumé in addition to a list of contact information and a pen. You might want to include some projects you’ve done in the past.
3. If you’re worried about sounding egotistical, just maintain a positive attitude. Be assertive in your answers and try not to ramble on about how you won a spelling bee in second grade.
4. To prepare for an interview, Google “common interview questions” and have a friend quiz you. Then have your friend give you feedback on your answers. By participating in a pretend interview, you will have an idea of appropriate responses when the actual interview occurs.
5. Wear something professional yet comfortable. While you might think your Abercrombie dark wash jeans are totally versatile, a future employer may not. Ladies, a black skirt or slacks always look good. Just make sure you’re not showing too much skin. Guys, a button-up shirt and tie never hurt. Don’t wear white socks with black pants unless you’re going for a Michael Jackson-inspired look!
6. Having trouble calming those pre-interview jitters? Before you go in, take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Each time you exhale, repeat a mantra, like “You got this.” Not only will this help calm you down, but it will also give you a boost of confidence!
With these tips in mind, you should have no problem nailing your interview! Keep in mind that your interviewer probably had trouble with their first prestigious interview too. Just be calm, cool and collected. Happy job hunting and good luck with your interviews!