Nervous. Distressed. Apprehensive. Anxious. Nauseous. These are a few words that can be used to describe how you may feel right before going into a job interview.
You feel vulnerable, like you’re being thrown to the sharks. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. If you know what to expect, what to do and what not to do, then all those mixed emotions will go away, and you’ll be left feeling cool, calm and collected.
We are all aware of how competitive the job market is in today’s economy. UTSA Career Services Professional Development Program Manager Morris Ellington has offered his expert advice on how to have a successful job interview.
“It is not necessarily the best qualified that receive the job offer; more often than not, it is the best prepared,” said Ellington.
According to Ellington, some steps you can take in preparing for your interview include researching the company you are applying with and practicing your interview beforehand.
One of the first things your interviewer will say is “Tell us everything you know about the company.” If you don’t know more than the average person would know, then it looks like you’re not taking the opportunity very seriously.
“If you research the company beforehand, then you should have a pretty good idea about what kind of questions you’ll be asked during the interview,” Ellington said.
UTSA Career Services offers mock interviews and strongly encourages students, especially those about to graduate (AHEM!), to set one up with a counselor or take part in the group mock interviews held twice a month.
Your resume is something else that you should have prepared.
“A resume,” Ellington said, “should be short and concise. There should not be a lot of clutter and unnecessary information, so it should be organized and pleasing to the eye.”
The interviewer should be able to glance at your resume for 30 seconds and know what your qualifications are. Therefore, it is important to make your qualifications stand out. In order to do this, Ellington suggests tweaking the resume to make yourself look better, but don’t lie.
“Personal appearance is probably the most important factor in job interviewing,” Ellington said. “Between 50-75 percent of the job interview is the visual presentation you make.”
In other words, your first impression is critical. Part of your first impression is your nonverbal communication.
There will be times when your interviewer will decide whether to hire you within the first five minutes of meeting you.
“When the interviewer comes out,” Ellington stressed, “you should immediately stand up, smile and make direct eye contact. Extend your hand for a good firm handshake and introduce yourself in a friendly and enthusiastic manner.”
You should be dressed professionally. Men should wear a dark conservative business suit, white dress shirt, a color coordinated tie, black shined dress shoes, dark socks, and a black belt. Flashy attire is a no-no, and ironing should go without saying.
Women should wear a dark conservative business suit (two inch rule for skirts), a color-conservative blouse, black shined conservative dress shoes (no open-toe, sorry ladies!) and dark or neutral hose (required!).
Don’t over do it with the make up and nail polish. Everyone should keep jewelry to a minimum, cover tattoos and avoid excessive cologne or perfume.
Some final tips Ellington offers are: a) Never be late. b) Get to the interview at least 15 minutes early; the worst thing you can do is be late to an interview.
Go out of your way to be respectful and friendly to everyone because everyone is a part of the job hiring process.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get the job; you won’t win every time. Don’t forget, it’s all about preparation. The more time you spend preparing, the better you’ll perform.
Don’t be so nervous now that you have some tips and tricks on how to land a job interview. Confidence is important. Don’t let the sharks smell your fear. Jump right into the water. Good luck!