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Interviewing Tips for Students and Fresh Graduates

If you’re a current student or a graduate fresh out of school, you may be looking ahead to your employment opportunities. The great thing about this time in your life is that all doors are available to you—you just have to open them. You and your fellow students will be let out into the world with equal opportunities to be the best you can be. But you have to work hard at rising above the rest to get the job you want. That all starts with the almighty Interview; here we give you tips on how to hone your interviewing skills.

 

First Impression

You’re probably well aware that a first impression is the most important. But you may not have realized how very little time you actually have to make that impression. Seven seconds is all it takes, says Personnel 2000. While we all have bad days due to nerves or things going on in our personal lives, it’s crucial you make every effort to nail this first interview because it’s extremely difficult to recover from a poor showing—especially when there are other qualified people lined up in the hallway to go in after you. Start with a genuine smile and stow the arrogance, you don’t want to come off as fake in any way, because the interviewer will catch that from the get-go.

 

Look the Part

When showing up for your interview, first off—don’t be late. That’s always a red flag for the interviewer. Second, be well groomed and dress in clean, appropriate clothing. This is your one opportunity to show your would-be boss how professional you can be. Women: lightly style your hair and don just enough makeup to bring out your natural qualities. Leave the hair spray and red lipstick at home. Don’t wear a skirt higher than the knee and no low-cut or tight blouses. Men: for God’s sake, shave—especially if this is for a high-power position. Make sure your suit is well fitted to your body and take a look at your shoes to make sure they’re not scuffed.

 

Prepare

While you may be so nervous your palms are sweating and you feel like you may just faint right there, try to exude confidence. To feel confident, you should be prepared. Doing your research will allow you to articulate your ideas and outline your skills even when asked those tough questions, says Forbes. As a student or fresh grad, you know the importance of studying for a test, so take the same approach to your job interview. In the days leading up to the big day, come up with your answers to any hard questions the interviewer may throw your way. Let your friends take on the role of boss and ask questions. On the day of, leave plenty of time to get to the interview. Interviews are hard enough without stressing over traffic and lack of parking spots.

 

Basics

In your briefcase, you should have a resume, cover letter, references, a portfolio if necessary and any other documents you were requested to bring along. If you’ve done your research on the company and job position, you’ll have no problem when the interviewer inevitably asks: “do you have any questions for me?” Present the interviewer with a strong — but not too strong — handshake and a smile. If there are others in the room, shake every single person’s hand. Sit up straight and resist the urge to engage in self-soothing behaviors such as biting your nails, twirling your hair or bouncing your knees. Relax and try to get into a groove. You’ve got this!

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