If you are an upcoming college graduate, like myself, you may be entering the anxiety filled phase of your life with the realization that it is time for the real world, which to many means it is time to get a job. Yes, a job, which also means it is time to confront your friend, the interview. To comfort and ease some of your pain, I have compiled a list to help crash, crumble and erase any fear you may have to ensure you the best chance of success to land the job of your choosing.
Tip #1: Have a solid resume. List out your most important jobs and attributes concisely onto one page so that it is easily readable and quick to navigate. Use bold fonts for headers, and no smaller than the font size of 10 to ensure that your information will fit and can be seen. Specialize it to the job you are interviewing for to showcase your talents and accomplishments that will help you in your fight to the finish. If the job entails a more creative aspect, have a jazzed up version of your resume on hand to give to the individual interviewing you to leave a longer lasting impression proving you have gone the extra mile to showcase your talents. Anything you can do to leave a great and longer impression will only help you in the long run.
Tip #2: Do your research. A lot of anxiety from interviews comes from fearing what they may ask you. Treat your interview like an exam. If you have spent adequate time preparing and emerging yourself in the subject, your confidence level will go up and in turn, your fear and anxieties will go down. There are plenty of databases, resources and books of questions and answers that you can study from to prepare. Also, grab a willing friend to mock interview with before your big day. Be confident in what you know and walk in proudly equipped with a smile and a firm handshake.
Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your interview is not supposed to be a trial, it is a human conversation with one or more individuals just like yourself. Show interest in what they do by asking things such as, “What is the favorite part of your job?”, “How long have you worked here for?”, “What interested you in the business/company?.” Not only will this showcase your general care in the conversation, it will show that you are willing to communicate and put yourself out there to create the conversation to learn about individuals in a more personal manner. Find topics or interests you have in common and stem interaction from them while remembering not to stray too far off topic.
Tip #4: Come physically prepared. Get your sleep, shower, dress professionally and walk and sit up straight with confidence. Give a good first impression of yourself. Nothing is illustrated worse to an employer if you come looking like you rolled out of bed, or with a bad attitude. Show that you took the time to prepare yourself for the day and that the interview matters to you. It will do you wonders.
According to wise man Benjamin Franklin, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” With that in mind, it would be insane to expect a job to be handed to you without putting in the work. With work comes results. Never give up and learn from mistakes. Life is a process and you improve as you go. Before you know it you will be an interviewing pro. Good luck!