by Jennifer Swank
So what happens when you finally get a call to come in for an interview?
It’s okay to be excited – this is a big step for your career! But if you’re like most people, you’re probably also a bit anxious or uncomfortable talking about yourself.
Here are some tips to get you through the gamut:
1. Get a suit.
No, really, get one. I’ve seen so many young “professionals” come in with a button down and wrinkled khakis. They don’t know you from Adam – so put your best foot forward by being the best dressed in the room.
2. Make eye contact.
This just as important as a solid handshake. Even if you don’t feel confident, maintaining eye contact will help you fake your way through the next hour.
3. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE.
I can’t think of anything ruder than your phone blowing up with texts and phone calls. Even if it’s your mom. Since you call her all the time, she should know when your interview is! (Seriously. Call your mom. She misses you.)
4. Research the company and their industry.
Know what they’re about. Check for company press releases, website blogs, and read up on its executives. While you’re at it, do some research on the person interviewing you, too. It’ll most likely be a Human Resources or the manager you will be directly reporting to.
5. Don’t make up answers.
Your interviewer may ask you about something you haven’t experienced yet, like handling a customer complaint or missing a deadline. Don’t stress– it’s okay! Be honest about the fact that you’ve never been in that type of situation and give your interviewer an idea of your thought process and soft skills level by explaining how you would handle it.
6. Ask questions beyond job responsibilities.
Interviews aren’t just for the company to evaluate you, they’re also for you to evaluate the company and make sure they’re a good fit. If you like working in teams, you might want to ask, “Is the working culture here more collaborative or autonomous?” You can also show your interviewer that you’re serious about the job by asking “How would you measure success in my role?” or “Is there a top-down communication strategy, or more of an open door policy?”
7. Relax and be yourself!
8. Send a thank-you email.
Send a follow-up that day to thank the person (or people) you interviewed for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.
9. Make it a goal to find a mentor.
After you nail the interview and accept the offer, find someone at the company you can learn from. Ask questions. A lot of questions. There are a lot of employees hitting retirement, and while they might have a hard time working their iPhone, but they do know a heck of a lot about their industry and what makes it run.
I know– this all is easier said than done. But you’re in luck:
Perryman Family Foundation is offering mock interviews for our scholars! We will reach out as soon as we have a date and time set. If you are interested, please email us to sign up! We’re excited to help and hope to see you soon!
(And make sure you call your mom after your home run interview.)