If you’ve just landed your first post-college interview, congratulations! You’re one step closer to potentially finding and getting your dream job. If you’re like many recent grads, you may not be exceptionally experienced at interviewing for professional job positions. The most important thing you can do in an interview is be yourself and allow yourself to truly shine. There are, of course, some things that you can do that decrease your chances of having a phenomenal interview. Here are a few interview mistakes you should try to avoid:
Dressing for the club
The nice clothes you have may be the clothes you wear to go out on the town with your friends. They may not, unfortunately, be what you should wear to an interview. Interview attire should be professional, and it shouldn’t call attention to you in any way. Guys should typically wear nice slacks, a nice shirt, and a tie. Gals should wear dress pants or a dress skirt and a professional-looking blouse. You may also want to opt to wear a blazer or suit jacket, depending on how the employees at the company you’re interviewing at dress. Just make sure you keep whatever you wear modest, appropriate for the situation, and relatively plain.
Neglecting to research the company
If you show up to the interview with only a vague idea of what the company does, you’re setting yourself up for a difficult time. You’ll probably be asked questions like, “Why do you want to work here?” and “What do you know about this position?” If you don’t have clear, concise answers to these questions, you’ll probably fail to impress during your interview. Make sure you scour the company’s website before your interview to avoid looking unprepared.
Working yourself up before the interview
Your first interview after college is kind of a big deal, but that doesn’t mean you should panic. Your interviewers will be able to tell if you’re excessively nervous. If you’re trying to make the best impression possible, you’ll need to do what you can to calm your nerves. Try taking deep breaths, meditating, or going for a short walk before the interview to clear your head. And keep in mind that if you don’t get the job, you’ll get another job that will probably end up being better for you anyway.
Answering too quickly
During the interview, it’s best if you give yourself time to think and answer each question carefully. Inexperienced interviewees often try to rush through the experience and respond to the questions they’re asked as quickly as possible. You won’t get a prize for finishing your interview fastest. If you need more time to reflect upon a question you’re asked, simply ask your interviewer if you can have a few moments to think before you answer. Remind yourself throughout the interview that answering well matters more than answering fast.
Avoiding the mistakes listed above will help you ace your interview. Not every interview you go on will be perfect, and that’s ok. All you can do is try your best and do what you can to set yourself up for success. Trust that you’ll find the right job for you, and make the most of every interview opportunity you score!
Caroline Ross is a freelance writer and guest blogger who works on various projects in the world of education. When Caroline’s not writing about education for sites like accreditedonlineuniversities.com, she also enjoys writing about the job market, emotional intelligence, and business. Please leave comments and questions for Caroline below!