You’ve heard it all before: dress appropriately, make eye contact, know the company, etc., but here are some not so obvious tips I can give you based on my own interviewing trials and tribulations.
1. Don’t treat your interview as a test.
If you walk in there feeling uptight and answer each question as though you’re being careful not say the wrong thing, it will show. Be yourself — act like a human, not a job interviewing robot. Don’t be afraid to initiate conversation with the person interviewing you. Create a meet-and-greet vibe, rather than making yourself feel like you a lab rat being examined by mad scientists. Asking questions is always a good thing as well; it shows interest and shows employers you care. Employers want a bright, qualified individual who will fit in naturally at the workplace and be easy to work with.
2. Assume everybody in the office is your potential employer.
Be nice to everybody you meet, hold doors, smile and shake hands. Be genuine and try to introduce yourself to some of the employees if the opportunity arises. A positive attitude and a friendly demeanor can go a long way. People will remember someone who says hi to them, not someone who keeps their head down and tries to avoid being noticed.
3. Make sure you know how to get there.
This might seem obvious, but I have heard stories of people getting lost on their way to an interview. With GPS’s in our pockets, we sometimes assume it will be a piece of cake to get anywhere we need to go. Investigate the route ahead of time and try to be prepared for any possible issues with your travels. Leave earlier than you think you need to to try and avoid having to rush in to your interview at the last minute.
4. Show up with a pen and a pad.
This sounds simple, yet people sometimes neglect to do this. Showing up with a pen and a pad to write on just makes you look mature and prepared. Taking notes in an interview is very professional. For what you lack in age you can always make up for in maturity. I’m sure we all know someone who is in their 20’s but acts like they’re trapped in middle school. Try to create the opposite effect in an interview. Also don’t forget to bring extra copies of your resume and maybe even a copy of the job description.
5. Troubleshoot potential questions.
Doing a quick mental rundown of questions you can expect to be asked can go a long way in making you feel comfortable in an interview. Write down your answers or at least get an outline of them in your head. If you are having trouble thinking of what they might ask you, scanning the job description might help generate ideas. Getting a question you already know the answer to is a thing of beauty. I have done this mentally for most interviews I’ve had and it definitely helps.
Obviously, I’m no expert, but these are just a few simple tips that will definitely help. And most importantly, don’t expect to be perfect during your interview. Be yourself and be confident, and you should do fine.