You know the drill: fresh pressed conservative clothes, résumé in hand and arrive early. But still, there are many things our generation are still getting wrong in these interviews. The best way to avoid those numerous errors of our generation is to read up on my best tips for interviews.
You should always get ready ahead of time for your interview — not just by ironing your shirt but doing your research for the position to the company. Notice that the internship you’re applying for places you under a specific director, but that director isn’t named on the website? Google the title and company. LinkedIn will probably pop up with the name, photo and background of the director.
This goes beyond just stalking employees, though. Make sure and check out the company’s mission statement, latest projects and recent news to ensure you know the company would be a great fit. The company won’t hire you if you can’t tell how you’d fit in with their mission and accomplishments.
While a lot of us do said research on our phones, don’t pull out your phone and Google the person as the interview begins; big no-no. Normally our phone is out everywhere we go, but it should be a rule of thumb that you do not check or use your phone in an interview. You’re showing that you care more about a text than the interview, and a potential supervisor may assume that’s how you’ll be on the job as well.
USA Today wrote an article with the title “Managers to Millennials: Job interview no time to text” about the bad habit trends in common in those ages 18 to 34. The article tells a story about a young man who took a non-emergency call 15 minutes into the interview, which eliminated his chance at a nearly guaranteed job offer.
The best way to get that job offer, on the other hand, is to show your interviewer you’re the best fit. Persuading your interviewer that you are the solution to all their problems with your great attitude, experience and ideas is paramount in any interview. That’s what you want them to focus on — not you twirling your hair. Don’t display nervous habits like twirling your hair and touching your face, as they are not only symbols of insecurity, but habits that distract the interviewer from what you’re talking about. Your non-verbal signals are just as powerful as your verbal.
This also goes for your choices with clothes and makeup. Red lipstick isn’t for an interview because it’s a bright and potentially distracting color on your face. Keeping your makeup clean and professional with your hair back is the best option because you don’t want to be brushing strands out of your face or flaunting heavy eye shadow. We’ve all got that signature look, from my flaired eyeliner to your favorite hairdo, but double check with your roommate or your mom on whether that signature style translates for an interview. Don’t be afraid to leave it at home for the day.
Perhaps the most important piece of the interview is to ask questions. There’s always a time for you to ask questions about the position and the company. Dave Kerpen wrote a piece on how he had a great candidate he could not hire because she had no questions at all. And with that, she was done with any chance she had at the job.
Ask questions relating to the position, the company and what the company is looking for. Even if it’s given you an overview of these things, ask about the little details. Ask what would keep the company from choosing you, or a portrait of their ideal candidates’ skills, or what the preferred hours and schedule are if the interviewer hasn’t mentioned that.
With the amazing amount of information at our fingertips these days, there’s no excuse to be clueless in a job interview. Doing your research is important not only to prepare you for your interview, but to show the company that you care.