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11 Things To Help You To Ace The Interview

Would you say you’re good at interviews or awful? Any interview can make you nervous but it doesn’t have to be when you prepare.

When you get to college, there can be many reasons you’re invited for an interview besides a job at Jimmy Johns or the bookstore. Scholarships, internships, campus leadership or study abroad programs, joining a fraternity or sorority, any of these will want to talk with you one-on-one and evaluate you. Guess what?

If you’re nervous, that’s a good thing – it shows that you care. And to help you ace your next interview no matter what it may be, we’ve put together a list of everything you want to know.

1. Think of an interview as a conversation, not an interrogation
The interviewer wants to get to know you as a person so don’t be so stiff or give short answers.

2. Prepare and then prepare some more
If this job, internship or program means a lot to you, then do your homework on it. Know the name of the interviewer and their position/title. Know background about the company or organization (check out their LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram page), prepare for specific questions and ask your friend/roommate to do a mock interview. Check out these prep tips from WayUp.

3. Dress to impress
The attire differs depending on the job and industry, but this is why you prepared. You don’t want to wear jeans and a t-shirt (although wouldn’t it be great if you could?), but you do want to look professional and presentable. For most interviews, a business casual outfit will be your best bet: a collared long-sleeve shirt and a tie with dark pants or khakis and dress shoes for men. A blouse with a knee-length skirt with nice shoes for women. Don’t overdo it with jewelry or makeup either and avoid anything too tight or revealing.

4. Be on Time
When we say on time, we mean at least 15 minutes early. Be sure to figure out how you’re going to get there and how long it will take the night before. Also, save the interviewer’s contact information on your phone or write it down with you in case an emergency happens and you’re running late.

5. Smile and be friendly
Don’t let your nerves suck out all the personality inside when you arrive. Smile and greet anyone you encounter around the office. Other employees and people talk. This is a first impression and you want to come off approachable.

6. Deliver a firm handshake
It’s easy – “hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you” in a sincere tone and a soft smile.

7. Don’t be a slouch
No matter how confident you feel with your answers and the conversation, if you’re too laid back in your chair it’s a major turnoff

8. Bring the important documents
Bring at least two copies of your resume and cover letter to the interview. There’s a good chance they will have this present and that you already sent beforehand, but you never know if the interviewer has a copy. This helps you look professional and prepared.

9. Express why you want this position and why you’ll succeed
Companies and organizations want people who want to work there. Talk about examples from past experiences that show you’re a good fit and showcase your problem-solving skills. Bring up something the company has done (social media campaign, a client they work for, awards) in the past and how it relates to your values.

10. Say this when you feel stuck
Anytime you feel a pause coming on after a question, say, “that’s a good question” and give yourself a few seconds to think. A well-thought answer will do you more favors than rambling about who knows what.

11. End with a Thank You
Thank the interviewer for their time with another great hand-shake and be sure to double-check their contact info (email/mailing address) and send a “thank you” note as soon as you can. Emails are okay (wait at least 30 minutes before sending), but a handwritten note will leave a better impression and is more thoughtful.

This is it, don’t get scared now.
Keep this list handy for your next interview and you’ll be well-prepared to go in with confidence and put yourself in a great position to get the gig!

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