You’ve gotten the experience. You suffered for 4 years to get the degree. You volunteered or interned whilst dreaming of the day when you could be rolling in your own cash. The only thing standing in your way? That damn paycheck! Get the job of your dreams, that you deserve, by following these few rules of interviewing.
1. Don’t bad-mouth a previous employer.
It’s first in line for a reason! It doesn’t’ matter how bad the situation was- unless it got legal and you won- it’s going to come off as catty. If you are definitely positive you left your last job because of the employees/employer, this is something you are going to have to practice prior to verbalizing the facts. Ask an honest friend to quiz you on why you left your last job.
2. Don’t use your phone.
I’ll poke out any eyeballs that start to roll at this one. No shit you know not to text or answer a call. This includes looking up numbers, dates, etc. You should have your resume with references printed out prior to the interview. Another option is to have these written on your handy dandy mini notebook.
3. Don’t ask for a pen or paper.
You should always, always have a little notebook and pen on you. It’s like having a sidekick of yourself. Write down any awards or skills or stories that are not portrayed on your CV. This is also where you jot down those references so you don’t have to take our your phone. Keep a list of questions that you plan on asking the interviewer. Think of something, even if it’s simple. “What does the average day look like?” is a great one.
4. Don’t forget your smile.
Seriously. Just smile. No matter what the profession, a smile displays confidence and shows you’re excited to be there. It’s not about looking nice, it’s about the attitude it shows. Girls, don’t wear lipstick you aren’t comfortable with! Having a bright red mouth looks great, except when you are trying to purse your lips. Do what you feel most comfortable doing, as long as it involves a smile.
5. Don’t bring anyone along.
Mom, boyfriend, dog, no one. If someone is kind enough to give you a ride, they will understand to wait in the car. This doesn’t mean they can hang out in the lobby, especially if your company is in a self-contained office. No matter how qualified you are for the position, the appearance of a lack of independence is game over for most applicants.
6. Don’t treat the interviewer as an interviewer.
My job attempts and successes can be divided into two stark categories- jobs I got & connected with the person who was interviewing and jobs I didn’t get & interviewers who I don’t even remember talking to. Every.single.one. Find a way to make a connection with them! Maybe they love Boston and you used to go there during summers growing up. Or you both adore the donut shop on the other side of town. Try to get them to chat a little bit to make it easier on you.
7. Don’t try out a new hairstyle (or make-up!)
Stick with what you know! Everyone has a go-to makeup and hair routine. If you don’t, let me know and I will tell you my secret, short, and sweet routine. This especially applies to dying your hair. There is a good chance they have looked you up on LinkedIn and Facebook, so don’t confuse them with a drastic change. It could also get embarrassing if they confuse you with someone else who was invited to interview.