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Going to an Interview? Interview Tips for College Students

It’s common for college students to do a part-time job to balance their time between work and academics. Apart from the financial benefits, many students participate in work-study as well as internship programs to get experience and on-the-job training while they are still studying.

While working as a recruiter for a mortgage staffing firm, I used to come across resumes of so many students eager to apply for apprenticeships and internships. My role was to prepare these young applicants for interviews. The thing is even if you’re applying for a job at Mcdonald’s, you have to go through an interview to get selected. And students, are weak in interviews.

Are you one such applicant and you have got an important upcoming interview? The tips that I am about to disclose will help you nail the interview and get the attention of your interview. Take notes!

1: Practice Before the Interview

Don’t ever make the mistake of going for an interview without practice (it’s different from preparation: which is knowing answers to the common interview questions).

If this is your first interview, invite a buddy or classmate to assist you in becoming more comfortable with the process. Look up a list of frequently asked interview questions online and practice how you would respond. Don’t use scripted responses. Instead, concentrate on answering the questions honestly and casually. Do it in person and ask your friend to provide their feedback.

2: Pick A Professional Attire and Be Professional

Wear a dress that is appropriate for the interview. Arrive early for the interview, and if you must cancel or reschedule for an unforeseen reason, such as illness or a car breakdown, notify the interviewer as soon as possible.

Be kind and attentive during the interview. Also, don’t simply put your phone on silent; turn it off. Constant vibration can easily become a distraction and derail a conversation.

3: Keep It Real

Since you don’t have a career history, all the interviewer wants to know is what you can bring to the table. They want to see a can-do attitude in the candidate. If you are able to demonstrate that successfully, consider you have got a shot!

A simple piece of advice I give the candidates I work with is to keep it real.  Be yourself, be sincere, and be truthful. The interviewer is aware that you are a college student. So, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Show genuine interest and explain how your abilities and skills may help their business.

4: Know Yourself

A typical question at an interview is what are your strengths and weaknesses. This calls for knowing yourself. If you can’t pick anything, ask your friends or teachers the same question.

Prior to the interview, spend some time finding three or four answers for each category. Use occurrences from your academic career if you don’t have a professional history to draw an example from.

5: Be Curious

Companies regularly assess candidates based on how enthusiastic and interested they are during interviews. Prepare yourself to ask questions about the role and the company. ask about the corporate culture and why the interviewer enjoys working there. Curiosity can go a long way toward expressing your interest in the open position.

6: Body Language Counts as Well

Your confidence is the key to getting selected. Some candidates are focused so much on answering the questions right, they forget about the body language.  

Poor body language may be enough to convince a hiring manager to choose someone else. Some interviewers don’t tend to overlook habits like mumbling, slouching, chewing gum, and playing with objects when it comes to selecting a candidate.

Apart from that, speak clearly and confidently. Maintain eye contact, sit straight, nod when necessary, and maintain eye contact.

7: Focus on Relevant Skills and Achievements Only

Most interviewers who are interviewing students know they don’t have any experience. This makes it tough for them to find qualified job candidates. That is the main reason many companies have a centralized hiring system that enables a unit to find candidates from other locations efficiently.

Being a candidate, it is your responsibility to make it as simple as possible for the interviewer to hire you. This is accomplished by emphasizing how your talents and achievements make you uniquely qualified for the desired position. Value the interviewer’s time and only mention the things that are directly related to the position.

Everything you do and say in an interview count. To nail your chances of getting hired, be prepared!

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