How To: Ace the Interview

One of the most daunting things about getting a job is the interview. I mean, think about it – if someone could be fired for being too sexy, then what are they gonna think about the average joes? The less beautiful peoples? Personality can only get you so far – after the first impression, that is! Unfortunately, in interviews, that is your first impression.

Maybe turn down the smile a notch and you'll be fine! (photo by MDGovpics)

Maybe turn down the smile a notch and you’ll be fine! (photo by MDGovpics)

I’ve only been on about three interviews in my short young adult life! But I still know a thing or two about making it in the interview process. Nonetheless, the people at Cupcakes and Cashmere are helping us out a lot by posting their “Career 101: Interviewing” article, which you can view at this link. I’m going to quote some of the best parts of the article so you can have the best tips on how to ace the interview.

#1. Technology can make or break you.

  • “There are two areas to focus on when you’re preparing for an interview: 1) company research and 2) your online profile. We live in a world of information overload, where almost everything you want to know about a company or person is a few clicks away. This access is very beneficial, but it also has some risk. Before your first interview (whether by phone or in-person) find out as much information that you can about the company, the person or people with whom you’ll be interviewing and the available position. This knowledge not only shows your commitment and proactive nature, but will also help you ask informed questions. Secondly, if you have public social profiles, you want to make sure there is nothing posted or shared that could cast an unfavorable light on your professional appearance. The same way we all “stalk” random friends and acquaintances, companies definitely use the same tools to get a sense of who you are, so be smart.”

#2. Dress for success.

  • “When in doubt, a printed blouse tucked into a pencil skirt with sensible pumps is a safe bet.”

I’ve talked about this in many articles before; the first impression is everything and if you don’t know how to dress, you may risk distraction for the interviewer – as in, they may not be able to see past your inappropriate interview garb.

#3. What to bring.

  • “A sleek portfolio should hold everything, including resumés (print them on high quality paper and always bring more than you think you’ll need), a pad of paper, and a pen.”

If organization and this type of thing is your favorite part of the interview process, perhaps you should look into an organizational management degree!

#4. Confidence is key.

  • “From the minute you meet your interviewer, stand straight with your shoulders back and head held high. A firm handshake and good eye contact makes a strong first impression and bad habits (like playing with your hair, fidgeting, chewing gum) should be avoided.”

#5. Be assertive.

  • ” Take a few moments to share why you’d be a valuable asset to the team (use some specific examples) and then verbalize that you’re actually interested in the position. Even if you’re not 100% sold on the job and whether it’s a good fit, aim to get an offer. That way, you’ll be better equipped at making a decision once the job responsibilities and salary have been clearly defined. And while this last tip might seem rather aggressive, ask if there are any reasons why you might not be a good fit for the job. It shows that you’re assertive and will also give you a good idea about the likelihood of you getting an offer.”
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