12 Tips Every Graduating College Senior Needs To Know
As graduation quickly approaches, the anxiety of job searching becomes more real day after day. Job searching is stressful, no doubt, but with proper preparation, you can nail that interview and land the job of your dreams. Here are a few interview tips to keep handy while you embark on your search for the perfect post-grad job.
Source: Abby Cousineau
1. Know the details beforehand. Research the company, know their history, what they do, what products or clients they work with and any other interesting details you can dig up. Also, try to find out who you will be interviewing with, find them on LinkedIn if you can get their name. Also, try to find out if you will be in a one-on-one or a group setting and research everyone you will be meeting with
2. Practice in front of a mirror. Practicing in front of the mirror will help you see yourself from the interviewer’s perspective. Pay attention to your facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures and any nervous ticks that may be distracting. Practicing also helps you be prepared for the hard questions you are sure to be asked.
3. Check your social media. This is a no-brainer. Double and triple check your social media and make sure there is nothing incriminating for interviewers to stumble upon. The last thing you want is for their image of you to be you drunk in a revealing club outfit.
4. Get directions. The night before make sure you look up the address and figure out how long it will take you to get there. Consider traffic and weather. Save the address and print out directions in case your phone malfunctions the morning of.
5. Early. Like, seriously. You will seriously set a bad impression if you arrive late to your interview. Plan to be in the office lobby at least 15 minutes before your interview. Not only will you seem prepared in the eyes of your interviewers, but the extra few minutes will allow you to ensure everything is organized.
6. Turn off your phone. Don’t let a text from your BFF ruin the flow of your interview. Even a buzz in your pocket can throw you off, so just turn your phone off to make sure you have zero distractions.
7. Dress to impress. Wear something that makes you feel confident, but also be sure it is business appropriate and fits the job you are applying for. You did your homework already, so you should know what the work environment vibe is.
8. Be friendly to everyone you meet. You never know who you may run into during the interview. Be friendly to everyone, even the secretary or custodian. People will definitely notice if you are approachable and kind.
9. Bring hard copies. Print out copies of your resume and sample work that your interviewers can look at during and keep after you leave. Bringing hard copies not only makes you look prepared but also gives you specific points to reference.
10. Ask good questions. At the end of the interview, don’t just let it fizz out. Be prepared with questions and make sure they are GOOD. Salary and time off are no-nos. Consider questions such as: How would you describe the ideal candidate? What have you enjoyed the most about working here? How would you describe the company culture here? Here is a great list of other questions you could ask.
11. Send a personal note. Nothing stands out more than a personalized thank you note in this digital age. Don’t just write a generic one beforehand, wait until after the interview and reference specific things you talked about. Send it as soon as you can after the interview ends, preferably the same day so they get it within a couple business days. An email can be sent as well since mail does take a bit longer.
12. Be yourself! Preparing for interviews can seem draining and make you feel like a cardboard cutout of yourself. It is important to let your personality shine through. At the end of the day, you can have all the qualifications in the job description, but you still have to seem like a person they want to work alongside every day.
Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.