5 Real Talk Interview Tips For The Entry-Level Lady
Few things are more uncomfortable than a bad job interview. You and the interviewer are both trapped in a room together and you’re selling yourself like a cutlery set on QVC. But it doesn’t have to be terrifying. Here are a couple of things you can do beforehand to be prepared and confident on the big day.
1. Keep the hair back
In eighth grade I made the mistake of cutting myself some tragic sheepdog bangs with a blunt pair of scissors I found in my parents’ junk drawer. I spent the next several months with the nervous tick that comes with having bangs—the I-just-need-these-out- of-my-face uncomfortable head flick. In a job interview, the goal is to eliminate any annoying habits that make the interviewer think of anything other than what an incredibly perfect candidate you are. Playing with your hair makes you look nervous and out of your element, and no one wants to watch that.
Bottom line: Your best bet? Ponytail, sock bun, top knot. Just pull it back.
2. Better to be overdressed
When I interviewed for my first internship in my second year of college, my blazer and pencil skirt combination screamed overdressed compared to the jeans and t-shirts of my interviewers. While I didn’t touch a pencil skirt for the rest of my time at the company, rocking a blazer for the interview let the interviewer see the best version of me—the clean, professional future hire.
Bottom line: Invest in a skirt suit and rock it.
3. Step away from the blue eyeliner
While being comfortable in an interview is crucial, you don’t know the tastes of your future employer. You may think purple mascara is awesome, but your interviewer may not. The only thing an interviewer should be thinking about is your charisma, your experience, and your ability to adapt to the culture of the company. Your appearance should be clean and professional so your personality and your killer qualifications can shine through.
Bottom line: Let your personality, not your makeup, stand out for you.
4. Prepare examples, not lists
When answering the dreaded “tell me about yourself” question, no one wants to hear that you are a good leader or you work well on teams. Interviewers want proof—they want a snapshot of a time you were a leader or a time you worked well on a team. Instead of saying “I’m curious and have endless ambition,” talk about the time you reached out on your own for a job or research position, or became involved in a project solely because it was interesting to you. Having memorable stories to share will make you stick out in an interviewer’s mind.
Bottom line: Rehearse moments rather than a list of characteristics.
5. Let your personality show
Even if you have the perfect qualifications, you will not be remembered if you have the personality of a damp tablecloth. Being yourself in an interview is difficult—while you’re preparing the moments to use as examples, practice a snappy comment or something to add a bit of humor to your story. No shame in practicing humor ahead of time, and it will put both you and the interviewer at ease.
Bottom line: You are charismatic and capable. Prepare ahead of time so the interviewer can tell.
One last thing to remember before stepping into the interview on the big day: Relax. While easier said than done, being calm and collected is crucial to putting yourself and your interviewer at ease. Take a couple of deep breaths, try not to pace, and listen to a couple of pump-up confidence songs before going in and hitting it out of the park.
Photo courtesy of Glitter Guide
By: Lindsey Sampson
Lindsay is a contributing writer for Levo League, where this article first appeared.