Tips for handling your next interview

Tips for handling your next interview

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Interview season is in full swing, and preparation is key to feeling confident when face-to-face with a future employer or the head of a campus organization. Just about every interviewer is looking for different skills and qualities, but we've compiled a few tried-and-true tips that are sure to start you off on the right foot.

Professional Dress

Dressing appropriately can provide you with a great first impression the instant you walk through the door. It is important to be aware of the expected dress code for any interview. Commonly, interview dress is business casual or business professional. It is very helpful to research these looks online to see what exactly they entail. Typically, a combination of dress pants, skirts that fall to around your knee, button downs, blouses, blazers and sweaters will do the trick. However, it is likewise crucial to ensure that your clothes fit well — one good, tailored business outfit is an investment that's sure to pay off. 

Presentation

The way you sit, speak and behave says a lot about you when you only have the only opportunity to meet with an employer for a few minutes. Try to arrive to your interview at least 10 minutes early in order that you may have time to locate the office and compose your thoughts before you enter. Punctuality conveys that you're responsible. A firm handshake and good eye contact also makes a positive statement. In addition, good posture and the avoidance of filler words like "um" can set you apart from other candidates.

Researching

Before your interview, make sure to become familiar with the organization or company you are pursuing as well as the specific job you are seeking. A search of their website should reveal what sort of values and traits they find important. The knowledge you glean from learning those things will help you to be sure that you mention your involvement and interests that highlight how well you could fit into the available position.

Brainstorming

It is helpful to ponder what sort of questions you think your interviewers will ask. Look up common interview questions and really think about why you desire the position for which you are applying. Your answers can be more organized and impactful if you have already considered meaningful and memorable ways to present your response.

Relating

Pointing out your experience and aptitude for a position with concrete examples and stories shows that you are a qualified applicant. If an employer knows you have already successfully dealt with quandaries and situations similar to those involved in the position they are looking to fill, they will feel more confident in your ability to bring success to their company or organization. For example, if the interviewer asks why you are interested in the position up for grabs, talk about a related job or experience that drew you to its qualities rather than simply the qualities themselves.

Of course, there is a wide variety of different types of interviews that require specific strategies as well as a great deal more advice that can be given by seasoned interviewing professionals. Interested readers can find more information on UA’s Career Center website (www.career.sa.ua.edu) or by visiting their office in the Ferg. They also provide practice interviews, among other services.

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