Do’s and Don’ts: How to Ace Your Interview

Emma Lohman – Staff Writer

It’s almost the end of the school year, which means that many Gusties are busy applying for summer internships and full-time jobs. If you’ve landed an interview, congrats. It means that your résumé made it past the robots, otherwise known as the AI-driven Applicant Tracking System. Now all you have to do is stand out in the interview. I’ve compiled a list of tips from experienced recruiters to help you land the job or internship of your dreams.

Tip 1: There’s no reason to change your routine in preparation for the interview. If you normally go to bed at 3 a.m. and skip breakfast, do that. And show up ten minutes late. You don’t want to look too desperate.

Tip 2: Skip the blazer and dress up in your best sweatpants and sweatshirt. You want to be comfortable right? You’re a college student not a CEO.

Tip 3: Don’t worry about the first impression. You will have plenty of opportunities to show your true personality once you get the position.

Tip 4: Be sure to call them by their first name. You’re going to be future colleagues, so no need to use a Mr. or Mrs. or Dr. title. “‘Sup Tim,” is a great way to establish that friendly relationship with your interviewer.

Tip 5: Skip the research on the company. You don’t want to look like a know-it-all. Besides, hiring managers love talking about their company and they will be happy to fill you in.

Tip 6: Don’t practice common interview questions beforehand. Your answers shouldn’t look too rehearsed. The interviewer will be impressed at your ability to think on the spot. If they ask you questions that you don’t know the answers to, make up a lie. It’s good practice, especially if you’re going into a sales position.

Tip 7: If you feel intimidated by the interviewer’s intense eye contact, just stare at your lap. And slouch so that you look relaxed.

Tip 8: They’ll likely ask you, “Tell me about yourself.” Here, they’re looking for your entire life story. Be sure to include who your kindergarten teacher was and your favorite class in middle school. They’ll love that.

Tip 9: Don’t forget to ask how much you will be paid and how many vacation days you will have. Unpaid internships are a waste of time. You’re a college student who has to pay their tuition and they should understand that.

Tip 10: At the end of the interview, when they ask if you have any questions, say no. It’s best not to appear incompetent before your first day on the job. (If you do ask a question, make sure it’s just: “You’re going to hire me, right?”)

Tip 11: There’s no need to follow up with a thank you. In fact, they should be the ones thanking you for being willing to take the job.

Having a successful interview isn’t as hard as Career Development would lead you to believe. All you have to do is be yourself.

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