For most college students, it is coming close to the end of semester and they are cramming to finish their work before finals week comes around. It is the time of year when students are trying ace their classes so that their GPA will go up.
It is known throughout college campuses that the higher GPA or the more internship experience someone has, the more marketable they become when applying for jobs.
However, according to the Washington Post, having a high GPA or being an expert in technical skills is not enough anymore.
With students no longer being able to rely on their high grades to receive a job offer, it is crucial that they know how to conduct themselves in a professional interview.
An interview is the first time a company meets a candidate face to face. The process can stressful and exhausting. However, if someone aces an interview, they are one step closer to being handed that job offer.
Here are 10 tips that every applicant should know before entering an interview:
1. Research: Before entering any interview room, it is absolutely crucial that you know about the company and the position you are applying for. This is for your benefit as well as the interviewers. Search any current news the company may have, their history, their mission, and what they pride themselves on. By knowing this information, you will be able to show that you took the time to research the company and that you care about how this interview goes. It also can’t hurt to memorize some of this information so that you could relay it back to your interviewers.
Some useful tools you can use to research are LinkedIn.com and Glassdoor.com. Each website has valuable resources that will help you gain an understanding of the company and what you should know.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice: Whether you are practicing to yourself, your friends, your professors, or even your dog, the best way to prepare yourself is to practice what you are going to say. By practicing, you can learn how to pace yourself, create a tone and become comfortable talking about yourself. Conducting role-play, recording yourself, or simply writing some sentences down can make a difference in the way you present yourself.
3. Know Your Resume: Be the expert on your resume. In an interview, you are trying to sell yourself based off your personality as well as what you can bring to the table. This is often reflected in your resume and if you are unsure about what makes your different compared to other candidates, you might come off as insecure and anxious.
4. Be Early: You never know what is going to happen on your travels to an interview. There could be traffic, delays, or accidents that you may not be aware of before leaving home. Give yourself an adequate amount of time to get to your interview regardless of any interruptions. Plus, it makes a good first impression when you are early and ready.
5. Dress to Impress: First impressions are everything in an interview. Make sure you look professional, clean, and sophisticated.
6. Bring Extras of Everything: Always brings extras of your resume and any other materials you plan on giving your interviewer. You never know what they have already, so be sure to bring extras just in case.
7. Prepare Questions: Create interesting and valuable questions. Be sure to come up with questions that make you stand out a bit more. Stay away from generic and broad questions and try to have questions that can only be directed to the company.
8. Be Enthusiastic: Make sure you are enthusiastic throughout your whole interview. You can do this with a positive, open and confident demeanor.
9. Ask About Your Interviewer: Be sure to try and get to know your interviewer. The best interviews are conversations and in a regular conversation, you try and get to know who you are talking to. Ask how they started at the company, where they went to college, etc. These types of questions can often create connections between you and the interviewer.
10. Follow Up: Before you leave the room, make sure you ask for their business cards. From there, you can send a hand written note or an email thanking them for their time. These notes can separate you from other candidates and also help create that connection between you and the interviewer.
In today’s workplace, it is important to know how to conduct yourself in an interview. With the tips listed, not only will you stand out as a candidate, but also come across as young professional and sophisticated adult.
Maddie Ball is a fourth year student majoring in communications studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at MB75937@wcupa.edu.