Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

“Choose a job you like, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Oftentimes, however, there is one thing standing between you and that dream job: the dreaded interview. I have been on multiple in the past month, applying for internships. Some have been face to face, others over the phone. From personal experience, I have compiled a list of the top five ways to nail any interview.

1. Dress for success: While the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a guideline I try and live by, when interviewing, it might help to try and look like a dictionary (metaphorically, of course). Look like the young professional you are! Men, it’s time to drag your dusty prom suit out of the attic, tie and all. Trim your facial hair, and repeat after me:  BLACK SOCKS. Not white socks, not Christmas socks, not your lucky Eagles game day socks: black socks. Ladies – avoid tight outfits, heavy makeup, chunky jewelry, and large handbags. Steer towards fitted (yes, there is a difference between “tight” and “fitted”) pants, and skirts that go below the knee. A collared shirt is always a safe bet, and a blazer is a must. Stay away from bold colors as well, and stick to the neutral spectrum.

Pick your outfit ahead of time, so you are not scrambling to find something appropriate the morning of. Keep in mind, even if you are interviewing at Dick’s Sporting Goods, a backwards ball cap should never be part of your ensemble.

2. Research, research, research: Research the company you are interviewing for. This is the top complaint of employers interviewing potential (college graduate) employees- that they do not know the first thing about the company. Know their mission statement, their services, who they cater to (what kind of customers), etc. Look at their outside activities; do they engage in nonprofit work? Are they environmentally friendly? What kind of employees do they tend to hire? What is work environment like?  Use this information to answer the “Why do you want to work here?” question that will surely follow.  It is also important to know the name of and requirements needed of the position you are going for within the company.

3. Practice Makes Perfect: Interviews are intimidating- there’s no way around it. Settle your nerves by answering practice questions. A popular interview technique among employees is known as SBO (Situation, Behavior, Analysis). Interviewers ask a question such as “Tell me about a time when you used your persuasion skills to influence someone’s decision.” It is intended you answer in the SBO format: explain the Situation; explain how you Behaved (your actions); what was the Outcome? You can find a list of practice SBO interview question on the WCU Career Development Center website – I strongly suggest checking it out!

4. First impressions: We don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure yours counts. Smile and shake hands with everyone in the office. If there are other people being interviewed, smile and engage in conversation. Unbeknownst to some, your interview starts the second you walk in the company door. If you say during the actual interview you are an extremely, friendly, talkative person, they know you are lying if you did not say one word to anyone in the waiting room. Make direct eye contact with your interviewer when speaking. On your way out, remember to shake hands, smile, and say thank you.

5. Follow up: After your interview, send an email to your interviewer thanking them for their time. Reflect on something that happened during the interview that proves why you will be great for the job. Do this within 48 hours after your interview.

Follow the tips above to score your dream job, and you will be on your way to never working a day in your life!

Ashley Cantasano is a third-year student who is majoring in marketing and adverisement. She can be reached at

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