As a student, you will have to interview for your first job, internship or placement in graduate school. Interviews can be intimidating because what you say and how you say it determine whether you get the placement you desire. Do not allow interviews to scare you. The interviewer is as human as you are and does not want you to fail. Having a positive attitude and knowing some interview strategies will help you succeed.
Junior candidates and recent graduates face the challenge of entering into a field with little or no experience. Often students are required to compete against more experience candidates. So when your opportunity comes, give yourself the best chance for success and be prepared. While students and junior candidates lack experience, they can compensate with their enthusiasm, eagerness, fresh ideas and so on. Know your own strengths and how you can utilize them to meet the employer’s requirements.
2. Look over your resume before the interview to make sure it is well-written and that all the information is accurate. Bring an extra copy to the interview even if the interviewer already has one.
3. You will encounter different types of questions in an interview. It is a good idea to create practice questions ahead of time and test yourself with people who support you. Have them ask you practice questions based on a variety of topics.
4. Ask a friend to help you prepare for the interview by going over common interview questions with you and critiquing your response. Some common interview questions are, “Tell me about yourself,” “Tell me about a time you had a problem and how you solved it,” and “Why should I hire you?” Your answers to these questions should be specific and honest.
5. Writing questions and practicing them with someone will make it easier to remember when you get to the interview. Use the third person when talking about the job. Avoid sounding as though you assume the job is yours.
6. Confidence is the most important element you can bring to an interview. For this reason, it’s best to treat the interview preparation like test preparation.
7. Show Enthusiasm. Be ready to articulate why you are interested in the target job/organization, how it relates to your goals. Show enthusiasm during the interview for the job.
8. During the interview watch your body language: shake hands firmly, make eye contact as you articulate your points, and sit up straight.
9. Listen carefully to what you’re being asked. Don’t interrupt, but do ask them to clarify what they are asking if you don’t understand the question straight away. Show interest in the interview by maintaining eye contact, and nodding or smiling where appropriate.
10. Answer questions honestly, and frankly, but be careful not to criticise current or former employers – your interviewers may think you’ll do this to them.
11. You may not realize it, but most successful adults have two personalities-a professional one and a relaxed one. It’s not a matter of being fake at times, it’s just a matter of behaving respectfully on the job or at an important meeting.
12. When speaking during an interview be careful to use proper grammar, speak correctly and behave in a way that doesn’t raise eyebrows
13. Attempt to use positive words, such as saying “I enjoy…” rather than “I like…” and speak positively about the opportunity to accept this role. For example, “I anticipate the challenges this job would provide”, rather than “If I get the job I think I could cope with the challenges…”
14. Do not bore the interviewer. If she asks you to tell her about yourself, do not give her your life story. Instead, list your achievements and any positive activities you are involved in. Mention what makes you unique.
15. When answering behavioral questions or if the interviewer asks you to provide an example, use examples from school, sports and volunteer
16. It’s not a good idea to wear clothing that is too revealing in an interview. Most judges and teachers will simply see this as a sign of immaturity.
17. Just relax and shake hands with confidence. There are a few common sense tips for shaking hands, though. For instance, don’t try to squeeze hard to prove how strong you are. Also, if you’re worried about having sweaty palms, you can keep a lightly-powdered tissue in your pocked and squeeze it right before the handshakes begin.
18. When an interview is over, be sure to thank the interviewer.