So, you submitted your resume and cover letter and heard back from the job or internship you applied to.
Great! What’s next?
Like many people, you start to panic and wonder how to prepare for your interview. I was once in your very position. Even though I attended interviews in high school and in my Malaysian college, they were casual and very different from the interviews I’ve attended here. Etiquette for interviews differ based on where you are in. In America, it always starts with a firm handshake.
Since I recently got appointed as a Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education (SHADE) Coordinator for Boynton Health and also attended a bunch of internship and job interviews, I would like to share some tips that will make sure you rock your next interview!
Here is an infographic from Classes And Careers that show helpful statistics for your next job interview!
Research, research, research!
Be ready for additional tasks
Timing is everything
Never, ever be late for your interview. It is always better to be there early than to be late. This is obviously part of etiquette, but preparing early also ensures that you have enough time to settle down and take a breather if you need to. You will have time to look through your notes and practice your smile!
Practice interview questions
The easiest way to practice is roleplaying with someone else, but if you’re like me, chances are you would prefer practicing interview questions alone. Take note of common job interview questions and be prepared to answer any questions that come up. Do not use fillers like “uhh..” or “ummm…” constantly. If you need time to think, take a few seconds before answering. Fillers will most likely make you appear less confident. It is a good idea to sit down and think about possible questions as well as recall certain instances in your life a few days before the interview. Winging the answers in the moment does not usually go well, so avoid that at all costs!
Define what a word means to you (e.g. commitment, responsibility, etc)
Describe a particular event and what you learned from it (e.g. describe a time you failed something, describe a time you worked with someone different, etc)
What happens during the actual interview?
Okay, so now you have prepared for everything before the interview, but what about the actual interview itself?
First, make sure you dress professionally and neatly. Depending on the type of position you are looking for, some interviews are casual while interviews for internships are formal.
Read the e-mail sent to you to make sure you have everything you need! Some interviews require you to bring along your resume and cover letter while some don’t (if you have already submitted them beforehand).
Arrive early to do a last minute practice of the interview questions. Make sure you have done adequate research on the interview or program you are interviewing for.
Remember to demonstrate confidence: this includes good posture while sitting and walking as well as eye contact.
When you meet the interviewer, greet them with a smile and a firm handshake. Introduce yourself. The interview will usually begin with questions for you and will generally last around 30-40 minutes. Demonstrate your passion and willingness for the position! After the interviewer finishes his or her questions, you are free to direct any questions to him or her. This is a good opportunity for you to clear up any confusion you may have regarding the position.
Congratulations! You made it through your first interview. Now, it is time for the waiting game. The interviewer may or may not let you know when will the decisions be announced. All you can do is be patient, have hope, and know that you did your best!