It’s graduation time! I know it’s a little different this year because of quarantine and the coronavirus. But it’s still a time to celebrate those who (like myself) are graduating this year!
With graduation at any level, there usually follows some kind of looking for jobs. I’ve posted before about job stuff (read it here) But today, I want to focus JUST on interview tips. If you’re a long-time Battle Kim of the Republic reader, then these probably will be similar to things you have read before. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have read a lot and am having a couple interviews too here recently.
- Be early– This is the first one for a reason. Being early will give a good impression before you are even seen or heard. Take some time and be early.
- Dress well– After arriving early, your dress is probably one of the most important things that will say a lot about you. Look nice. No jeans. Dress pants, khakis, or skirt with a nice shirt. Jacket is recommended. Simple, muted shoes (black, brown, navy, etc.) and nice top that is not too loud or bright (so, no crazy patterns and no overly bright colors) are great options. Even with virtual meetings, I make sure my top looks nice because that’s what gets seen. It was a real sight last week wearing a full face of makeup and a blazer with jean shorts.
- Have a firm handshake– Grip tightly and pump your arm once. Don’t give an awkward squeeze, and don’t be afraid to grip the hand. You’re not a royal, and you’re not a dead fish. Don’t make it awkward.
- Sit or stand straight– Posture and body language speaks. Make sure it has something good to say about you.
- Make eye contact– Whether you’re being interviewed by one person or ten people, include everyone in your eye contact sweep. I have been in speech for a LONG time, and one of the first things that was drilled into my head was to make eye contact with every single person in the room. If you’re uncomfortable with eye contact, look at noses, eyebrows, or ears. This way you are still looking in the general direction of the eyes without people knowing you’re not actually looking at their eyes.
- Speak slowly– Take your time to be thorough and don’t rush. I promise you won’t sound dumb or anything if you talk slower. It helps you enunciate and dictate your thoughts more clearly.
- Be confident– Nobody wants to hire someone who is unsure or shy of themselves. Play up your strengths, but be aware of your shortcomings. You’re only human. But be confident in yourself.
- Ask questions– At the end of interviews, most interviewers will ask if you have questions. So use this time to actually ask questions. My favorite questions:
- “What is the support system like for new hires?”- This allows you to gauge what help you can get as you learn the job.
- (If not mentioned) “How is the job set up?” So for me, this applies to teaching, but it’s applicable for other jobs. Basically, I use this question to see how many people are in the same position as me. I also use it to gauge the number of students I will have in addition to the way the school is set up and divided.
- “Is there anything about my resume or anything I have said that would prevent you from hiring me that I can address right now?” This is my FAVORITE question. It always kind of throws interviewers off. The reason I ask this is to basically address any red flags or even warnings. This way I know that if they DON’T hire me then it wasn’t because of anything I said.
- “When can I expect to hear from you about this position?” I need to get better at this one, but this way, you get a timeframe of a response.
- Thank the interviewers– The interviewers took time out of their day to talk to you. Thank them for it. It ends the interview on a positive note.
These are tips that I’m using myself. I hope they help you as well as you look for jobs!