Interviewing is hard, stress inducing, and requires lots of energy and traveling. But at the same time it’s invigorating. You get to meet tons of new people, hear about great work going on in your field, not to mention the excitement that comes with starting a new phase of your life!
So how do you make the most of those couple hours you have with a potential employer? Here are my suggestions*
Do your research on the place. Know the key players and the basic gist of what the company is looking for.
Don’t know the brochure so well that you are spouting off lines from memory. They know their mission statement and the odds of you having the exact same wording for your future goals is highly unlikely. You know well enough to not plagiarize when writing so don’t do it speaking either.
Do look professional. Brush off that black suit from your closet and whip out the pearl earrings. Now is not the day to wear those new dangly earrings and curve hugging top. First impressions do matter.
Don’t let the suit wear you. You want to be comfortable so if you’re adjusting your pants and shirt constantly you might want to get a new outfit.
Do remember this motto because this is the reason you got the interview in the first place:
Don’t respond to the question “Why a degree in child psychology?” with “I love working with children and families! I just love helping others!” I bet that is the same answer the high school graduate is saying in their undergrad applications. You’re smarter than that.
Do be as honest and real as possible. If you truly don’t know the answer to the question and don’t have training in a certain area say that. Maybe this lack of expertise on a specific topic is why you want to work there.
Don’t try to bullshit your way through an answer. Unless your very good at lying (me, I’m horrible and my face turns bright red) don’t try to concoct some crazy response when you have no clue what you’re talking about. Just don’t be that jackass.
Do be mindful of what you have on Facebook. Employers do check so if this is your profile photo you might be in some serious trouble.
Don’t laugh extra loud at the interviewer’s jokes. Yes it’s good to have a sense of humor but when you’re busting a gut over a joke about the weather you’ll probably come across as crazy.
Do be prepared for off the wall interview questions like “If you were an animal what would you be?” (I didn’t get this one but a friend did). And saying you want to be a bird because you could fly around is not what you want to say.
Don’t be overly agreeable with whatever the interviewer is saying. In one of my interviews we were talking things to do in the area and how there are tons of restaurants around the center. A fellow applicant remarked, “Oh my god I love restaurants!! I love eating! Ha ha ha ha (huge smile)” Wow good for you, so does the rest of the human race.
Do prepare for travel disasters. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview place, map out where you are parking or how to get a cab/train/plane. And if you find yourself running late make sure you have the contact information of the company to call someone.
Don’t be late. It’s very unbecoming.
Do make sure you eat something. I had a raging headache in one of my interviews because I barely had breakfast and didn’t drink enough coffee. Not smart move on my part.
Don’t let your jetlag show. Even if you barely got sleep the night before, are on the verge of a migraine, and have been living off granola bars for the past couple days don’t tell the interviewer about it. You will feel better another day, just suck it up right now.
In the end be yourself. You want to work in a place where you feel comfortable and get the best training for your future career. And remember these are people (not robots) you are meeting with. They too have been in this position and understand you’re nervous, but remember why they asked to meet with you in the first place.
*These are based off my very limited experience and not knowing if I got the position after interviewing (fingers crossed), so take these all with a grain of salt. And maybe the job your applying for actually wants you to act like an idiot so go ahead and post those drunk facebook pictures for your dream job!