How to rock your interview

The whole interview process can be a little intimidating. There are ways to make it less painful. I always walk away from an interview with one thought in mind—did I say what they wanted to hear? And somehow during the interview my mind becomes a tape recorder, allowing me to spend the rest of the day replaying my responses. I always come up with the best answers afterward.

Chances are, your first interview won’t be your best. It takes practice. I get nervous, so staying calm is key. It helps me to take a few deeps breaths before I sit down in the hot seat.

I searched around for the best interview tips. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Be friendly
  • Outfit passes the bending over test (Ladies- bend over in front of a mirror, if you can see your bra, your shirt is too low for the work place)
  • Ask your interviewer questions
  • Send a thank you note two or three days after your interview

For more helpful ideas go to: interview tips

Your friends and family are also good resources. Since most people enjoy sharing their own stories, it’s easy to learn from other people’s mistakes. I always have lots of questions.

The big ones that often plague my mind are:

What should I wear?

Do I have a good handshake?

Should I be more smiley than serious? And,

What if they ask me something I don’t know?

Do you have any  “I can’t believe I just said that!” interview moments or any issues you’ve been wondering about?


9 responses to “Interviews

  1. I’ve had some pretty bad interviews before, but somehow they’ve all turned out well. The worst I can recall is when I was applying for a job at Meredith Corp – the interviewer asked me what magazine from the Meredith family was my favorite.

    I misspoke, and instead of saying Country Home (which now no longer exists), I said Country Living, a Hearst publication (One of Meredith’s competitors).

    The interviewer looked bewildered for a moment, then smiled and said, “you mean Living the Country Life?”

    I panicked, realizing my mistake and nodded vigorously. I ended up landing a job for Living the Country Life. Lucky near miss.

  2. I’ve only had to interview for a few jobs thus far in my life: Granite City Food and Brewery and Old Navy are the most memorable ones. Given this, I haven’t had too many bad experiences. I’ve mainly just made a fool out of myself a couple of times.

    At Granite City (a restaurant that brews their own beer) I was in the middle of being given a tour when my potential manager made the remark, “Of course you can’t try any samples of our house-brewed beers today,” and I being an idiot asked her “Why not?”–keep in mind I had just turned 16 at the time. I guess it was my jumpy and nervous attempt to try and carry on the conversation. Now at interviews I remember to pause before answering questions and plan out my responses to avoid a similar incident from occurring.

    On my first day of shadowing at Old Navy, (I consider this as part of the interview process,) I decided to wear shorts to work–since it was nearly 100 degrees out I hadn’t given my decision a second thought. The moment I walked into the store, my manager Carrie looked me up and down and asked if I had any other pants I could change into. Since I don’t have my car stocked with wardrobe options, I had to buy a pair of pants to wear for my shift that day. I guess I scored bonus points with Old Navy Co–my manager not so much. It eventually turned into a store joke, but now I’ll always remember the first time I took advantage of my company discount. =)

    • GASP! Shorts to work! Ah, we all have funny little stories like this. It’s always difficult to get into the momentum of a new job, but when you become the store joke, that has to burn just a little bit. 🙂

  3. I don’t have any embarrassing stories I can think of right now, but I actually wanted to share a resource of my own:

    Follow InterviewCoach on Twitter. He shares good tips, posts interesting quotes, and offers another dimension to your twitter feed.

    Hopefully someone else finds him useful!

  4. The best advice I can give as far as interviews are concerned is to have a good resume. An excellent resume is the precursor to any good interview. While this “should” go without saying, I think there are a lot of first and second-year students who don’t know how to represent themselves through good resumes. I’m not saying I’m the expert, but I know from personal experience it can really help–especially with journalism/internships/etc.

  5. There is no possible way to prepare for every possible interview question. The best advice I ever got was to identify three “selling points” to impress upon the interviewer. Then, bring every question back to those three points somehow.

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