How to ace an interview

A student gets interviewed for a potential job opportunity.

Don’t be nervous. Even if you are, don’t show it. To start off the interview, greet the interviewer by either saying, “Good morning,” “Hello,” or “How are you?” The interview should feel more like a conversation rather than the interviewer asking all the questions. Listen to the interviewer and respond to what they’re saying. Show interest in what they’re saying about the company and ask follow-up questions. When the interviewer asks about your experience in a certain job, don’t just tell them about your role. Instead, tell them a story from one of your previous jobs and connect it with the question that is being asked. It will sound more natural. Don’t interrupt when the interviewer is asking questions or sharing information about the company. Make sure you listen carefully and ask questions at the end. Your responses shouldn’t be too short or too long. 

A good rule of thumb is to say about two to three sentences for each response. Generally, if your responses are longer than this it can get boring and lengthy. Your responses should be clear and concise so it's easy for the interviewer to understand. Be yourself. If a certain field isn’t your strong suit, be honest. The interviewer has gone through interviews in the past as well. Not everyone has the same amount of experience. Focus on your strengths and what you're passionate about. Don’t show up to the interview late. Be early. Don’t cross your arms or slouch. Sit up with your back straight and maintain appropriate body language.  

Be confident. To make a good first impression, wear professional clothing to your interview. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. I would suggest wearing neutral colors such as black, blue, white and gray. It would be best to avoid extremely bright or neon clothing as it may not be appropriate or professional during an interview. Remember to smile. Always keep eye contact and don’t look away from the interviewer or start looking around. Make sure to avoid all distractions. This means putting your phone away and out of sight. Some interviewers can ask tricky questions like, “What are your weaknesses?” The best strategy is to focus on what you did to overcome these weaknesses rather than talking too much about the actual weakness itself.

When the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions for me?” A lot of people tend to say, “Um, no.” Automatic reject. It shows that you’re not interested or excited about the position or working with the company. Employers would much rather take someone who is excited to work in their company than hire someone who just applied without thinking. Don’t ask any personal questions. These questions can be about the role, training or the company in general. Don’t go to the interview unprepared. I would suggest practicing in front of your friends, family or even a mirror. Do some research on the company in advance to become familiar with their mission and values. Whether you’re giving an interview for an internship or a full-time job, it’s important to follow these general rules. This will drastically increase your chances of nailing that interview! At the end, make sure to thank the interviewer. Let them know that you’re excited to be a part of their company and really enjoyed speaking with them.

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