You probably came to Carrington College because you wanted to make a change. Either a career change, or a change in direction after high school. No matter your age or situation, landing your first job interview in a new career is incredibly exciting, but it can also be terrifying. But worry not. There are a few tricks that can help calm your nerves, and turn you into an interview pro!
- You can talk…A good interview shouldn’t feel like an interrogation, but more like a conversation. And you’ve had plenty of conversations before right? Like any good conversation, it’s more interesting for both parties, and you feel more comfortable, if you know what you’re talking about. Be prepared and know your subject, get into a rhythm and let the conversation flow (but pay attention to #5 below!).
- You know your subject, make sure you know yourself – You’ve sat down, had the firm handshake and confidently introduced yourself; then comes the question that most people dread – “So, tell me a little about yourself.” Once you’ve translated that statement, this might be the easiest question of the interview. “Tell me about yourself” really means: “Tell me how your personality, interests, work ethic, and experience makes you the person I need to hire for this position?”Think back to why you applied for the job in the first place – what made you think you were a good match? There’s your answer. You know your strengths better than anyone. This is the time to tell them what you’ll bring to the position, the team, and the organization.
- Connect your confidence with your enthusiasm – Your confidence is all about the way you perceive yourself. Your enthusiasm conveys your feelings about something or someone other than yourself. In this case, the job you’re interviewing for. To balance your confidence and enthusiasm, put together a list of reasons why you’re confident about your ability to do the job. Then match each of those reasons with why you’re enthusiastic about the job. Review the answers and prepare so you can clearly communicate these reasons during your interview.
- Don’t reiterate your resume – There’s a good chance that the person interviewing you can read; there’s also a fairly good chance that your resume is right in front of them, or it was two minutes before you walked in the room. So the last thing you want to do in an interview is restate your resume. You probably got the interview on the strength of your resume, so the interviewer is looking for more. Build the resume talking points into a conversation. Practice this in mock interviews with friends or your Career Services department.
- Know when to shut up – Don’t ramble on (nerves can make us do that sometimes) and consider the length of your answers. If you can effectively get your point across in twenty words, don’t use two hundred. If the interviewer wants to know more, they’ll ask. Don’t be afraid to simply stop talking once you’ve answered. Typically, you should be able to provide a well-thought answer to most interview questions in fewer than 60 seconds.
- There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’ – Make sure you use ‘we’ to demonstrate your desire and ability to work well in a team environment. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your own responsibilities and accomplishments, but be clear about how those things benefitted your team.
Don’t forget that your campus Career Services team is available to you; to help with job search strategies, resume writing and interviewing advice & techniques.