I’ve only had about a handful of interviews in my life, it is more like five, and while they are scary and terrifying. Is that just me? Getting advice for an interview is beneficial. Each interview is an opportunity to grow, to learn, to change. I’m sure my first interview was the worst. I didn’t know what to say, I was very nervous, and probably fidgeting with my hands a lot. Since then I’ve learned to be more confident, and improved my interview skills greatly. There are going to be plenty of interviews in everyone’s lives, I figured I could share a few tips I’ve learned from experience.
- Dress professionally. I don’t care if you are going into interview at Taco Bell or McDonalds, it is still nice to dress up and not look like you came from the gym. Wear a button up shirt, some slacks, a dress or a nice skirt. If you come in looking professional, they will take you a lot more serious. I’ll admit I hate wearing dresses sometimes, but I’ll put one on for an interview.
- Be careful on what you say. Never say I don’t know. Those might be one of the worst things to say in most situations, take your time, think about the question and words will come. A hint, into buying time would be to repeat the question or restate it in answering form. If all else fails see if you can come back to the question. There may be a few instances where it is okay, so you don’t sit there looking like a rambling idiot, pulling things out of the air, but otherwise try and stay away from those words. They are giving up words. Also never say yeah, say yes. It sounds more professional, and it is just better English.
- *Here’s a hint just for the girls, and maybe a few boys. Pull your hair up, back, out of your face. I know I fumble with my hair all the time when its down, push it behind my ear, twist or twirl it. No, that goes back to tip number one, you want to be professional, pull it back so you don’t play with it. Playing with your hair is distracting to you and the person interviewing you, so don’t do it! Keep it out of your face so that they can actually see you.
- Be willing to compromise. Some jobs might ask you to come in at 6am, some might require that you wear a hair net, others might pay only minimum wage. If you really want the job, then you will say yes to anything they throw at you even if it isn’t ideal.
- Don’t lie during the interview. Yes you may be trying to make yourself look good, hopefully they hire you if you say you can do anything they throw at you, but if in the end they hire you and you can’t do these things then it is going to blow up in your face. Lying in an interview is horrible, and in most cases you will be found out later. Do not lie, it just isn’t smart.
- Bring questions. I don’t understand this one myself, but I’ve always been told to bring questions, and sometimes they ask if you have questions and you might look a little dumb for not having one. Ask about the description of the position or how many positions they might be hiring for, just bring questions.
- DO NOT touch your phone. Better yet, just don’t bring it in to the interview with you, leave it in the car, or with your friend. Your phone isn’t necessary for the interview and is distracting, leave the phone behind. You don’t want to be embarrassed if it goes off, or even vibrates during the interview. I’m sorry, here is a little reality, you can be away from your phone for 20 minutes, or how ever long the interview is, the world won’t end during that time.
- Come in with a smile. You may hate being interviewed, you may rather be sleeping if it’s an early interview, but if you come in with a grumpy look on your face they probably won’t be as interested in you. Remember to smile, come in looking like you want to be there, and be positive.
Hope this helps, and remember even if it wasn’t the best interview, you can learn from your mistakes and maybe that job just wasn’t meant to be. Not everyone has the perfect interview or gets the job the first time, its okay, just remember to keep your head up, and like Dory says “just keep swimming”.