Interview Tips from Your Future Boss
Interviews are inevitable. You might have even had one to get to college. To get a job, you’ll need to go through at least 1, if not 2 or 3 interviews. They are a big part of determining your life beyond college and it’s crucial that you learn to ace interviews. Thankfully, it’s not really that hard! We talked to a few professionals who have decades of interview experience, both doing the hiring and being interviewed. These are their tips for success.
Look your interviewer in the eye – Make direct eye contact with your interviewer. Try to avoid aggressive eye contact (don’t widen your eyes or contract your pupils), but instead make soft eye contact like when you’re listening to a friend talk. You’ll seem interested in what they’re saying and chances are, you’ll listen more closely.
Smile – Look friendly! It’s easy to be nervous at an interview. Even when your stomach is in knots, you need to smile. Looking grumpy won’t get you the job, but being friendly and inviting might! Let the interviewer see that you are enjoying speaking with them.
Don’t talk badly about past employers – Few things are as much of a turn-off to potential employers as a candidate bad-mouthing their old boss. No matter how much you hated your last job, keep to the positives when discussing the position with an interviewer. Example: DON’T say ” I had a crappy boss who screamed and yelled.” DO say ” I learned to identify different communication styles.”
Open body language – What your body language says is just as important as what comes out of your mouth. Crossed arms and rigid posture sends a message of discomfort and distance. A relaxed stance and open arms tell the interviewer that you are calm, cool, and collected.
Take what is offered – If you are offered coffee, water, or a snack, take it. Saying yes, even to something small sends the message that you are positive and easy to get along with. It shows that you are accepting of their hospitality. Not accepting what is offered might seem like the more polite thing, but in reality, it associates “no” with your application.
Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses – Overstating your accomplishments and abilities is a sure fired way to get yourself in hot water a few months into the job. Be realistic about what you are good at. It’s ok to be a little braggy in an interview, that’s what the employer wants you to do. If you don’t tell them, how will they know what you are capable of?
Ask for the job – At the end of the interview, ask for the job. Be direct, look them in the eye, and say “Can I have the job?” This direction action shows that you value the position and the company as a whole. It (literally) pays to be direct and ask for what you want.