Congratulations on graduating! While it’s a happy and exciting time, it’s also a scary one. Starting a new job hunt when you have little experience can be stressful, overwhelming, and nerve-wracking.
We’re here to give you a few tips to keep in mind at interviews so you can ace your evaluation and land your dream job.
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1. Do Your Due Diligence
It’s important to let your interviewer know that you’re serious about the position and you’re not there to waste their time. Do this by doing your due diligence prior to the interview.
Take the time to research the company, understand their values and the intricacies of what they do. Pay particular attention to the bios of your interviewers, or of the staff who you’ll be working with directly, if they’re available on the company website.
2. Familiarize Yourself With the Interview Platform
Since most interviews have gone virtual, preparing for one now includes learning how to make a good impression on Zoom. If you’ve never used Zoom (or similar applications) in a professional setting, ask a friend or family member if they’ll do a dry run with you. Make sure you have a good internet connection, your camera is positioned well, and your audio is working correctly. This will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the application and avoid unexpected technical issues that could cause extra stress.
One of the benefits of a Zoom interview is that your interviewer can’t see your screen. This gives you the opportunity to have a ‘cheat-sheet’ to refer to during your interview. Don’t write a whole script, of course, but jotting down some quick notes might be helpful if you feel your mind go blank on a tough question.
3. Prepare for Common Questions
Preparing answers to common interview questions will not only help to prepare you for your interview, but it will help to calm your nerves. Tough questions like ‘What is your biggest weakness’ or ‘Tell me about a time when you…[fill in the blank]’ have tripped up many an experienced interviewee.
Think of general answers to these questions so you don’t sound rehearsed if they do get asked. Having an idea of your responses in advance will help to make for a much smoother and relaxed interview experience.
4. Have Questions Ready
The interview goes both ways. At the end of an interview, it’s your turn to ask questions about the company. Take advantage of this time. It’s a great way to find out if the company culture and atmosphere will be a good fit for your needs and preferences.
When you ask questions, particularly if they relate back to topics that were already discussed in the interview, it shows that you were actively listening and are a serious candidate for the position.
5. Don’t Stress
No matter how perfect the job might seem, try not to be too stressed out over the interview. Chances are, even if the job seems perfect, there are hundreds of other jobs out there just like it.
If you make a mistake or stumble over your words, don’t panic or get shaken up. Brush yourself off and keep moving. This shows the interviewer how well you can recover in high-pressure situations.
If you have an interview that you think could have gone better, don’t kick yourself over it. It might have gone better than you think. Even if you don’t land the job, you can use it as a learning experience for next time.