Folsom Lake College's Online Newspaper
by Michael Chaoui
How To Prepare And Execute An Interview That Will Make You Stand Above The Rest
Many people these days are looking for jobs. Everyone from fresh college graduates to those who are looking for a career shift are looking for the right job. The challenges that many of us face is getting through the interview process. Interviewing for any purpose can cause anxiety and even stress in some cases. Here are some basic tips to help your interview leave a lasting impression.
Just remember that you are selling yourself as a professional...stay positive and confident in yourself.
Research: Conduct research on the company that you are interviewing with. Reading up on the following topics can help you not only understand who you are interviewing with, but show your interviewers that you are genuinely interested in the organization and industry and are serious about the potential job.
Practice: Practicing with a friend, colleague, or relative is a great way to practice. If you are a college student, you can conduct practice interviews at your school's career center with someone that you most likely are not too familiar with. Remember to practice interviewing to get familiar with thinking quickly on your feet, speaking clearly and properly, and body gestures. However, do not try to rehearse your answers, doing so can lead to disaster very quickly. A lot of interviewers like to throw curveball questions and that will derail you if you try to memorize a script.
Dress Professionally: Dressing appropriately is one of the most crucial parts of your interview. They always say that first impressions are one of the most important things when meeting someone new, and nothing contributes to your first impression more than what you're wearing.
For men, it's simple: Pressed shirt and pants, a tie, and dress shoes. If you have a suit, wear it. Avoid wearing vivid colors, keep it simple and neutral. For the ladies, it varies, but the main thing to keep in mind is to look as professional as possible. Neutral colors with a collared shirt is the best way to go for the top. If you decide to not wear the collared shirt, a blazer on top is also a good choice. As for the rest, the choices go as follows: skirts that do not got more than an inch above the knee or dress pants.
Be Punctual: Punctuality is another key component of your first impression. The best rule of thumb is to arrive between 10 - 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time, no earlier. This gives you just enough time to settle and collect your thoughts, as well as calm your nerves. If you are not familiar with the directions, plan on leaving earlier to give you enough time to find the location. If you are interviewing in a downtown area, add even more time to allow yourself to find parking.
Demonstrate Your Skills and Knowledge: During your interview, it is probable that you will be asked about your skills that you have listed on your resume. When asked about them, answer the question, but also elaborate and demonstrate that you are well versed in the subject. Try not to go on for too long because then you will seem long winded. Just answer the questions directly and concisely.
Prepare Some Questions: To prepare for some of the questions that many find tough to answer, it is good practice to prepare some questions that may come up in the interviewer's agenda.
Here are some good questions to have an idea of how you will answer them:
Stay Calm:This is quite self-explanatory. Just remember that you are selling yourself as a professional. Don't rush before your interview, make sure to eat and drink well before you leave, and stay positive and confident in yourself.
Follow Up: Make sure to follow up if you do not get offered or declined the job during the interview. It is good practice to send a thank you card or email thanking them for their time. It also shows persistence and demonstrates professionalism, they will think of you as someone who follows through and possess good communications skills.
FLC Main: FR-108