As students doing everything we can at the chance of landing our first job or internship, an interview can be terrifying. You can read all of the etiquette sites you want about what to wear and how to act. But, here are a few steps from a real student who has really been through it.
With the way things in the economy are today, us students cant take any chances. We have to apply for everything and anything that comes are way. So, it is not uncommon that we may feel under-qualified for the position we are asking for. Don’t let that stop you. Take a deep breath and truly believe that you deserve and will excel at the position. It will show through during the interview.
One of the worst things a student can do before an interview is have a script of everything that they are about to say. Having such rehearsed responses makes it sound like you are some job hunting robot. Now, this is not to say that you should not think about potential questions and responses. It is important to be prepared, but it is equally important to make a connection with the interviewer and this can only be done when there is a conversational tone and friendly environment.
The fact is that people want to hire people that they like and get along with. So, be likable! Smile a lot, make comments about your surroundings like “your office is really great,” ect. In short, humanize yourself, and make the interviewer want to be your friend.
It is important to know that any skill that you have is transferrable to something else. So, instead of saying that you are good at analyzing spreadsheets, say that you have the unique ability to compile information and solve problems. Spreadsheets are an industry skill, where analysis and problem solving are life skills.
I am not saying that you have to write a two page thank you note on your mothers nice stationary, but you should take the time to send the employer a message through email, linkedin or a quick note that says that you appreciate their time. It will let them know that you value their time and are serious about the position.
So, there you have it. Real advice from a real student. Now go out and get that job!