By Vanessa Irie
As an intern at WSB-TV, Channel 2 News, I have learned many interesting things about what it takes to make it in the professional world. The interview process was much more relaxed than I expected, but every interview is different and the interviewers also vary.
With that said, I went around the office and asked my supervisors, professionals who have done their jobs for over forty years, for tips on how to do well on a job interview. Attention upperclassmen, this could be you sooner than you realize.
Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but like we all know, common sense is not so common these days. Cherish these tips as if they made up your last meal, because these could help you score that job you have been hoping for.
1. “Research, research, research”- Jennifer Grove: the idea here is that you have to make sure you know everything you can. Know the company and the people without being a stalker. The more you know, the more you’ll stand out.
2. Make yourself available to management: you never know which turn your interview will take, so be flexible with your time in case the interview becomes an all day thing where the interviewer puts you through a series of tests.
3. Build relationships over time: make connections with people who work for the company you have your heart on and from time to time, email them or call them just to check in. This allows you to stay in these people’s thoughts for the day when you’ll need a referral.
4. Find out the environment of the company and dress accordingly: if everyone wears a clown suit, you have to do the same as a way to integrate yourself in that company’s culture. No shame.
5. Come with questions: according to Jocelyn Dorsey, the Executive Producer /Host of People 2 People and Director of Editorials/Public Affairs, asking questions to the interviewer shows that you’re engaged in the process.
6. Bring extras resumes on nice paper: even though some people do not care for this anymore, some traditions do not hurt. Just be ready with your extra resumes, just in case. Your interviewer will appreciate the effort.
7. Read any industry news about the place you are aiming to work at: this allows you to become more knowledgeable about the industry and how it works.
8. If you can put all your work in one place, do it: a website, a flash drive, a DVD. It is good to have all three media sharing forms simply because employers like different things.
9. “Brand your skills honestly”- Jocelyn Dorsey: Do not go after a job you don’t have the skills for yet and try to oversell yourself. Your interviewer will quickly read through the lies.
10. Your mannerisms matter: walk into the door tall, smiling, ready to give firm handshakes, and appropriately dressed (see #4).
11. When you speak to the interviewer, keep in mind that he or she asking him/herself this crucial question: “Once I hire you, will you be able to start tomorrow without training?”
12. Be enthusiastic: you finally got a job interview and you’re a step away from working! That’s great news!
13. Don’t burn your bridges: treat your employees and supervisees well, because you may be the one seeking a job from them one day.
14. Keep your social media clean. I promise you, most employers will look at your social media. Keep the red cups, cool cigarette smoke pictures, along with your playboy spread away from the public.
15. Have some business cards ready: Reinhardt’s Career Services offers FREE business cards. Just get in touch with Peggy Collins.
16. Volunteering: put your volunteer work on your resume and be prepared to talk about how much you give back to the community. Employers like people who volunteer for their community.
17. State why you want the particular job and don’t be afraid to tell them your ultimate goals: don’t go into the office talking about how you couldn’t get a job at the rival company so this was plan B.
18. Don’t tell your interviewer about how much of a people’s person you are: Your love of people will not save you if you don’t have the skills necessary for the job.
19. Tell the potential employer what this position means to you: Show your enthusiasm, but don’t focus on the financial side until after you’ve gotten an offer.
20. Look at the product from the place you’re trying to work at: this goes back to the research. Know who you’re talking to, for what purpose, and what they do as a company.
21. Have an elevator speech: it shouldn’t be longer than a 30 seconds, unless it’s a really really really tall building, your elevator ride won’t be long, so keep that in mind.