Being broke sucks.
But to actually make some money you’re going to need to interview well. That means picking your cleanest shirt, brushing up that resume (check out last week’s column!) and dedicating yourself to slaying that awkward deep dive into your character.
Here are a few handy tips to prepare you for every interview you score.
- Arrive early
Being on time is the most important thing to do for an interview, but showing up early can save you a lot of stress.
If you’re worried that you may not know where to park or how to find the building, you can always drive there the day before to scope it out. Showing up early also looks professional and sets a good first impression.
You’ll have time to wind down and get focused on what you want to say. Use this time to go to make sure all of your papers are in order and go to the bathroom to double-check your appearance.
- Be professional and personable
Be open and honest with the employer from the first question in the interview. Show them a little of your personality.
A good way to do this is to bring up personal examples that relate to the topic at hand. However, it is important to not share things that could make it easy for your future employer to discriminate against you.
- Do your research
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the company you are interviewing with.
A great place to start is to look at their mission statement or to browse their website. The key is to be informed about the company you are applying to work for. If you know who’s going to interview you, it might be a good idea to look them up on social media, particularly LinkedIn because it is a business and employment-based social media site.
At an interview I had with a recruiter, I saw on her LinkedIn that she had gone to a college which I had gotten accepted to, she’d worked in Atlanta near my family and at her university’s newspaper. I was able to talk to her about those things in the interview, which really helped us develop a connection. We both understood the work that goes into making a weekly publication, we both can talk about the culture of a different city and could relate to the experience of art schools. This helped us become closer, which made her more responsive to helping me find a position.
- Prepare questions
You know you are going to get asked, so be ready: “Do you have any questions for us?” is the employer’s way of determining how interested you are in working for them. Ask about your concerns.
Maybe you want a friendly atmosphere. In that case, ask how often they do things together outside of work.
Ask how much involvement management has in your position. Ask about how collaboration happens organically. Look at companies you want to work for and see how much they align in business practices. Try and figure out what you want from a work environment and ask them how they can fill those goals.
- Emails are important. Include thank you notes.
You will likely email with your interviewer before the interview happens. This is your time to put your cover letter together, the USFSP Career Center can help you workshop your resume or social media accounts. They can help you find a job that is looking for USF affiliates specifically. Use your email to put your best foot forward, be specific with your word choice.
Good luck on your job search. Be sure to use these guidelines to land your next job!