Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Interview Like a Pro Even When You're Not

Sure, most post grads have been on an interview before. We've all had jobs at the local grocery store or had internships that helped connect classroom studies to real life. Interviews are always nerve-wracking and now that you're a post grad you're facing career interviews which can seem even scarier. You may have never had an intense interview or you feel the pressure to really outshine the other candidates in this economy.

Here are some tips on squashing your nerves and acing your first interviews as a post grad:

1. First off, it’s normal to feel anxious and nervous for job interviews. Unless you happen to have nerves of steel, I guarantee you'll be a little shaky and worried. Keep calm by getting prepared. Familiarize yourself with the company and the job you're applying for. Learn the basic facts about the company and prepare a few words to share about why you want to work there and why you're passionate about this company instead of other similar ones. Even if you're applying around to similar jobs, make your interviewer feel like you want to work there and only there.

2. Sell yourself not only by talking but by showing. Bring samples of your best work from college or internships and bring your resume and cover letter. Instead of just saying that you're a great graphic designer, you can show them how awesome you really are and what kind of work you've done. If the job you're looking for doesn't really allow for samples, bring along your college transcript to make sure they see your amazing grades and classes you took that pertain to the job.

3. Be confident but not cocky. Scour the Internet for sample questions that an interviewer might ask (bonus points if you find some for the type of job or company you're applying at). Practice with friends, family, and counselors about what type of answers you should give to sound confident and skilled, but not cocky or fake. Remember to be true to yourself and don't make the interviewer think you're someone you aren't. There is a difference between giving the best answer and the best answer for you. Always choose the best answer for you.

4. Remember that if you don't get the job it is not the end of the world. If something happens and you totally screw it up or you get a gut feeling you don't want to work there, it is okay. The right job will come along at the right time. Don't beat yourself up because as a post grad, you're always learning and making mistakes is a good part of that.

Now tell us, what are your tried and true interview tips?

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