How to Nail a Job Interview

One of the most important things you can do in college to build your resume and gain new skills is to get a job or internship.  Make sure you are properly prepared for your job interview with these tips:

1. Do your research
Many interviewers ask questions such as, “What do you know about our company?” or “Why do you want to work here?” Make sure you know how to answer these questions.  This may require some internet research or asking around.

2.  Practice, practice, practice!
Just like in anything else in life, practice makes perfect.  You can practice with a friend, family member, or even better, a professional. We recommend meeting with a Career Advisor at Career Services here on campus to get the best feedback. For more information on Career Services interviewing help go to: http://www.unl.edu/careers/interviews

3.  Dress the part
It’s possible to overdress or under-dress for the interview; one is worse, but try to do neither.  Under-dressing is worse because it may come off that you don’t really care about getting the job.  On the other hand, some businesses are very casual, and dressing in a suit may be unnecessary.  Just make sure to research the company or ask someone you know that works there.

4.  Arrive early
It’s common sense show up early, but make sure you are absolutely sure that you have ample time to get to your interview.  Consider that you may run into bad traffic or construction, so leave even earlier than you think you need to.  Most experts suggest checking in with the receptionist 15 minutes early.

5. Make eye contact
From the time you first shake hands and throughout the entire interview, make sure you continually make solid eye contact.  If you are being interviewed by multiple people, make sure to make eye contact with all of them throughout the interview as well.

6. Prepare for the “tough” question
You may or may not be asked the infamous “What’s your greatest weakness?” question. When you answer, don’t actually pick your greatest weakness, instead opt for one that is either irrelevant to the job or one that is easily recoverable.  After you state your weakness, follow up with how you plan to overcome it.

7. Know your strengths
A job interview is one of the few occasions where it’s ok to talk yourself up! We recommend writing down your top five biggest strengths in order as you never know how many the interviewer will ask for.  It’s important to communicate how you are a great candidate for the job based on what the company has said they need through the job description for the position. Remember: be confident, not arrogant.

8. Have questions ready
You’re almost guaranteed to be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, and the worst thing you can reply with is “no”!  Ask about job expectations, future opportunities, and the company’s goals.  You are being interviewed to see if you’re a good fit for the company.  Don’t forget to make sure the company is a good fit for you!
For more help with your job/internship search, check out the UNL Career Services website at http://www.unl.edu/careers/gain-experience

 Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant
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