The responsibility of life after high school, with paying bills and keeping fed, is huge step in life. A job interview is the first stage in providing what is needed, and getting nervous is part of it.
Here are four steps to prepare for a successful interview:
- Resume and Reference list
- Social Media
These are the ingredients to help ensure a successful interview.
“People need to think about their story and about what information they want to get across to the employer,” said Maggie Ruelle, TJC coordinator at Career Services, which provides students with resources to assist with career exploration and finding employment. “You always want to look at the industry or the company.”
“In some industries, expect that you will be wearing a business suit every single day. You need to know your audience and what is appropriate for different places,” said Ruelle.
Business Formal for a man: should include a suit, a long sleeve shirt, a tie, shoes, socks and a belt.
Business Formal for a woman: should include a suit, a shirt, closed-toe dress shoes and hosiery.
Business Casual for men and women: neat and clean clothes — covered midriff, thighs, cleavage and back.
Avoid: t-shirts, caps, flip-flops, sweats, logos, jeans, anything revealing, torn, wrinkled or dirty and too much perfume or cologne.
“There are some industries and companies where it is absolutely appropriate to wear jeans and flip-flops to work,” said Ruelle. “Now, that being said, I would never show up with jeans and flips-flops to an interview — ever. Even if that’s what everyone else is wearing.”
Also, it should be considered that the employer is judging each applicant.
- For women, do not use too much makeup and use a neutral nail polish. A top that is too tight or transparent isn’t a great idea.
- For men, pay attention to tie choice. A neutral color, with no pattern is the best option.
- For both women and men there are some details that cannot be forgotten, such as hiding tattoos and having well-groomed hair and clean fingernails.
“You want to speak clearly, not speak too quickly and you know, a lot of times when we get nervous we speed up and that makes it hard to follow a conversation,” said Ruelle.
Learn about the company, study its past and show interest on it at the interview.
- Prepare for expected questions. Have answers prepared and practice them out loud.
- Practice acting in a formal manner. Use a formal/professional voice. In group interviews, enthusiasm is expected.
“It is very important in a group interview to be assertive without being aggressive, “ said Ruelle.
Avoid: Profanity and speaking too fast.
3. Resume and references
“Always bring copies of your Resume, also they need to be on the nice Resume paper. And then you need to bring, separate, a list of your references,” said Ruelle. “You want to bring your resume and your reference list on something nice.”
- Qualifications for the job.
- Prior work experiences.
Avoid: Walking into the interview with hands occupied that are needed to greet the interviewer. The handshake tells a lot, and an awkward handshake can set the tone for the interview in a negative way.
4. Social Media
“Look at social media. I know that sometimes it may be surprising to people, but it’s absolutely fair game for employers to look at your Facebook and your Twitter feed, your Instagram account,“ said Ruelle. “And what you put on there can absolutely impact whether you are seen as a professional or not.“
Take down what you wouldn’t like your boss to see:
- Delete excessive party pictures.
- Delete pictures with too much cleavage.
- Delete pictures doing anything illegal.
Social media can be a benefit.