Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#TheInternDiaries: Interview Tips

Welcome back to #TheInternDiaries! Today's post is all about the interview. So your resume impressed and now you got yourself an interview to really show your stuff. The interview is muy importante. It shows your potential boss who you are as a person, how you carry yourself and if you're a good fit for the position. It's definitely a lot of pressure but hopefully with these tips will get you feeling confident and relaxed! So let's get into my interview tips!

Tip No. 1: Do your research//
Before you even get to the interview, do your research. Jump on the company's website and read up on their mission statement, what they're about, what the pride themselves on, etc., etc. This will help you get an idea of what they're looking for, show your proactive nature and help you answer questions. 

Tip No. 2: Be prepared// 
Print out a few copies of your resume, cover sheet, portfolio examples, business cards and anything else you might give to your interviewer. Get your things together the night before so have it all together. 

Tip No. 3: Practice, practice, practice//
Going along with Tip No. 2, practice what you will say when asked the questions. Have a family member sit down and do a mock interview so you can get a feel for what the setting will be like. Just like actors and actresses memorize their lines for a play, you can get an idea of your answers when asked certain questions. You don't need to have it memorized word for word, but a general idea is a great starting point. 

Here are a few questions that might be asked: 

Tell me about yourself. Tell me something that's not on your resume. 

Describe your working style. 

How do you stay organized?

What are your strengths? Weaknesses?*

Why do you want to work here? 

What are you looking for in a position?

How do you solve a problem?

What's your biggest accomplishment?

Granted these aren't every single question you might be asked but it gets you a feel for the type of questions that could come up. 

*When answering for weaknesses don't downplay a strength. "A weakness would be I do too much." Be honest with yourself and your interviewer and tell them a real weakness of yours. For me mine is that I can't say no. I will keep taking on assignments and projects even if I know I have too much on my plate. I just don't like turning down things, but it's something I'm working on. 

Tip No. 4: Dress the part//
Dress for success! A general rule of thumb is to dress on the conservative side and be overdressed. Granted, every work environment will be different, but it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. Stick with pants, skirts, dresses, blouses and low heels. Accessorize with a fun bag, scarf or piece of jewelry. When in doubt go with a nice blouse, pencil skirt and sensible heel.  
Pick out your outfit the night before and set it out. That way you're not rushed in the morning to try and find an outfit. 

Tip No. 5: Arrive early//
Arriving early shows promptness and punctuality but also that you are invested in this position and that it's important. Plan on arriving minimum 15 minutes early but air on the side of a half and hour. This allows for traffic, finding a parking spot, crowded elevators and gives you some time to compose yourself and get ready. 

Tip No. 6: Posture//
The second you meet your interviewer, stand up straight, shoulders back and head held high. Even if you're a shaking mess on the inside, don't let it show on the outside. Fake it till you make it, right? Have a firm handshake, make direct eye contact and smile. It gives a strong first impression. When sitting down sit up straight, hands in lap. Try to not fidget, play with your hair, clothes, etc., and avoid chewing gum. 

Tip No. 7: Answering questions//
If you get asked a question and you don't know the answer, stop, breathe and take a minute to compose yourself. Don't say "I don't know", make up an answer or rush it. Ask for clarification, if they can expound on it or give an example. If you have some knowledge of part of the question, tell your interviewer what you do know or how you would go about solving it. This can help you figure out the rest. If you still have no idea how to answer try something like this, "That is a great question, but I'm sorry I don't have the answer off the top of my head. I will be more than happy to follow up with the answer after the interview." After the interview, spend some time reflecting on the answer and be sure to send that follow up email. 

Tip No. 8: Asking questions//
Ask questions about the position and company. This shows that you did your homework and again that you're invested into the company and position. It also will answer any further questions you have about the job. 

Tip No. 9: Finish strong//
End the interview with another firm handshake, smile and a thank you for their time. After be sure to send a follow-up email thanking them again for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them. 


There you have it, those are all my tips for having a great interview! The main thing to remember is to be confident, remain calm and think things through. Ask for clarification if you don't quite understand something. Don't get worked up if you don't know the answer. Interviews are scary and it's okay to not know everything. Just breathe and relax. 

How do you handle interviews? Have any tips? Leave a comment sharing them!

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"that awkward moment when someone asks you tell more about yourself and you're are like 'who am i?!"

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