Today I wanted to write about something a lot of college students don’t really have experience with, especially freshman or sophomore year: interviews!! Interviews are a vital part of securing a job, whether it be a sales associate at a boutique or an internship, and being prepared is the most important part! After successfully securing internships for both Fall and Spring semesters of this school year, I thought I’d share some tips about what to do and what I’ve noticed!
Before the Interview:
- Before you even think about applying somewhere you need to work on your personal brand, especially if it’s for an internship. Start with removing any and all inappropriate pictures from social media. A good rule of thumb is if your grandma wouldn’t approve, neither will an employer. Make sure all of your profile pictures are appropriate and good quality, and even set up and LinkedIn profile if you want to! This will make you stand out amongst other college students.
- Make sure your resume is up-to-date and looks professional. Usually applying involves uploading it onto your application or emailing it to a recruiter, so you want to make sure it speaks to what you’re doing right now and how awesome you are!
- After you apply, keep track of your emails! If you used one email for all of your applications check it frequently to see whether anything has come in!
During the Interview:
- Wear something professional! This will vary depending on what kind of job or internship you’re applying for, but if it’s in a professional field you will want to wear a nice outfit. Slacks or a modest pencil skirt and a nice conservative blouse usually is a safe outfit for most interviews, and nice close-toed shoes! If you’re really unsure, don’t hesitate to ask them! They will appreciate that you want to put your best foot forward!
- Be prepared to talk about yourself! What you’re doing in school, what your goals are, and why you are interested in that position. Have answers to cliche questions such as “talk about a difficult situation and how you handled it” or “what is your dream job?” Usually, those are to see whether your personality fits in with the culture of that company!
- Keep good eye contact, remain enthusiastic, sound confident in yourself! Have a handful of questions you can ask at the end of the interview. My go-to’s are typically “what is your favorite part of working here?”, “What can an *insert position here* gain from working here?”, “What are the expectations for this position?”. It makes you sound interested in what they have to say and in the job itself. Not having questions can actually translate into not caring even if it’s your dream job so make sure you have a couple just in case they ask!
- Follow up! Email whoever interviewed you or your point of contact for that job and thank them for their time and for the opportunity! Remind them that you are enthusiastic about the position and that you are excited to hear from them. This will go a long way when they are making their decisions!