Personally, I am not looking for jobs right now – I have steady employment, and I’m in a Master’s program, so I figured it was best to stick where I am for the moment. But! I was just at a college graduation last weekend, so I know it’s that time of year. Job interviews. Everywhere. About a month ago, Lauren Conrad posted a blog about mastering job interviews. I thought it was fitting, and I see her as very professional, prim, proper, all of that. And she’s young enough that I thought she would be a good example for people just coming out of college.
So! Here are Lauren Conrad’s 10 Tips for Mastering Your Job Interview:
- Research the company. At every single interview I’ve done, one of the questions is something along the lines of, “Have you been to our website?” or “What do you know about the company?” It’s a test. They want to make sure that you actually want this job.
- Update your resume. In almost every case, the people interviewing you will have a copy of your resume sitting in front of them. But, before you leave the house for your interview, you should make sure that it’s up to date. And if you do update your resume between when you applied for the job and when you interview, make sure you bring several copies of the updated resume to the interview. LC recommends using high-quality linen resume paper, and I agree. That will leave a lasting statement. And despite what Elle Woods taught us, maybe don’t spray it with perfume or use pink paper. Or do. It’s your call.
- Dress the part. This is where your company research can come into play. If you’re going to an interview at a bank or somewhere where suits are worn on a daily basis, you better suit up. If you’re interviewing for something less formal (thinking artsy, or in a lab setting) you can have a little more fun with it. My mom always told me that you should wear a pop of color to every interview, as well. Then they’ll remember you. I like that advice, but I like color. So you can decide for yourself on that one.
- Arrive on time. Oh, for heaven’s sake, don’t be late. They’ll never hire someone who gives off that impression. If traffic is bad, or something happens, call ahead. LC says to not show up too early either – you’ll look over-eager. This is generally my problem. I allot for more time than I need and end up sitting in my car for ten or fifteen minutes waiting for the appropriate time to go inside. But hey, it’s better that than looking disheveled and unprofessional, because you were rushing to get there.
- Give a solid, confident handshake. You want to appear self-assured, like you know you’ve earned the right to interview for this position. They’ll remember.
- Make eye contact. This is part of the deal. You want to be engaged at all times during an interview. Act polite, keep eye contact, respond to the nuances of the conversation. If you’re engaged, they’ll remember you in a positive light.
- Prepare your questions and answers. While it is very important to have answers ready to the most common interview questions, it is equally important to have some questions prepared to ask them about the job and the company. They’ll remember you if you ask good ones. It shows an inquisitive mind, and someone who is genuinely interested in the position.
- Maintain good posture. Don’t slouch. Don’t fidget. If you’re sitting up straight and have your hands folded nicely in your lap, you’ll look cool, calm, collected, and completely ready for whatever they throw your way.
- Ask about the next step. This is something that is important, but something I never think about in the moment. It’s always one of the first questions my parents ask – did they tell you when they’ll make a decision? Did they tell you the next step? If they don’t offer it, ask. You’ll look excited and very interested in the position, which is good.
- Write a handwritten thank you note. Another thing I’ve never thought of, but an excellent idea. Sit down and write it right after the interview, and mail it either right then, or the next day. They’ll appreciate the personal touch, and it will keep you on their radar in the days following the interview.
I love these tips, and I fully intend on using them for any interview I have in the future.
Is there anything I missed?
Happy long weekend!