Entering the professional world can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. One of the first hurdles you'll face is the job interview. Even if you're armed with a stellar GPA and extracurriculars, navigating this uncharted territory can be daunting. But fear not! We've compiled a list of do's and don'ts to help you leave a lasting impression.
Do's: Preparing for job interviews, interview tips, job interview questions
Research the Company: Understand its culture, values, and recent developments. Interviewers are impressed when candidates show genuine interest in the company’s vision and growth.
Dress the Part: Wear professional attire that aligns with the company culture. If in doubt, it's always better to be slightly overdressed.
Arrive Early, But Not Too Early: 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time is ideal. This shows punctuality without putting undue pressure on your interviewer.
Practice Common Interview Questions: While you can't predict every question, there are several standard ones you can prepare for. Develop your answers but ensure they don't sound rehearsed.
Ask Questions: This demonstrates your eagerness and engagement. Inquire about team dynamics, company culture, or what success looks like in the position you’re applying for.
Follow the STAR Technique: When asked about experiences or challenges, structure your answers as Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It helps in providing clear and concise answers.
Send a Thank You Email: After the interview, express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your enthusiasm for the role.
Speak Negatively About Past Employers or Colleagues: It’s unprofessional and gives the impression that you might speak similarly about this potential employer in the future.
Overshare Personal Information: Be friendly, but remember it's a professional setting. TMI (Too Much Information) can be off-putting.
Forget Non-verbal Cues: Avoid fidgeting, checking your watch, or looking disinterested. Make regular eye contact and offer a firm handshake.
Interrupt the Interviewer: Always let them finish their thought or question before you respond.
Bring Up Salary or Benefits Prematurely: If the interviewer doesn’t broach the topic, wait until a follow-up discussion or when it feels contextually appropriate.
Rely Only on Your Resume: It might get you in the door, but your passion, readiness, and cultural fit will get you the job. Articulate how you can bring value beyond just what's on paper.
Forget to Turn Off Your Phone: Speaking of turning off your phone, here's a memorable story to illustrate its importance. I had a friend, let's call him Jack, who was gearing up for a crucial interview with a top-tier company. He'd prepped rigorously for weeks. Unbeknownst to many, Jack had recently set his ringtone to the sound of a duck quacking due to a playful dare. Mid-interview, as he eloquently discussed his experiences, the room was suddenly filled with an unmistakable QUACK QUACK. The interviewer's eyebrows shot up in surprise. Jack, realizing the source of the interruption, fumbled to silence the ruckus. Breaking the brief awkwardness, the interviewer quipped, "Expecting a call from a pond?" Both shared a moment of laughter. Though the interview had an unexpected twist, Jack learned a vital lesson, and, to his relief, still landed the job!
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In conclusion, interviews are as much about getting to know the company as they are about the company getting to know you. With the right preparation, authenticity, and professionalism, you'll make a memorable impression. Good luck and remember that the key to getting the job is to be prepared for that interview. It is also a two way street. You also need to decide if the job is right for you!