Interviewing: Make the Right Impression

Interview Tips for New Grads

If you have a good cover letter and resume, you should get at least a few calls for interviews. For new graduates, that is a very exciting time as it shows you are moving forward in your quest to secure employment.

Making a good impression should be the first thing on your priority list. You have to be able to convey the message that you are the best candidate for the job. New grads often downplay their experiences though and that can prove costly. Going into the interview confident, alert, and prepared will make a huge difference.

Always show up for a job interview early. You want to leave yourself at least 5 minutes before an interview to put your mind together. Job interviewing is already a stressful process. Rushing in at the last minute or being late will only worsen the stress. If you are not familiar with the location where the interview will take place, it is a good idea to find out beforehand.

The first impression that the interviewer will have of you is how you introduce yourself, eye contact, how you dress and your overall appearance. If you are a new grad, you may have some very trendy clothing in your closet. Yet that may not be suitable for a job interview. It is wise to invest in a couple of professional looking outfits. Many employers set up second interviews before making their final decision so you may need two outfits.

Be aware of the habits that you have so that you can correct them before your job interview. You can't be fidgeting during the interview or looking around the room. Place your hands on your lap and your feet flat on the floor. Practice good eye contact so that you are not inadvertently looking down or all over the room when answering questions.

What you say in your job interview as a new graduate is just as important as how you say it. Avoid getting trapped by lingo that you use with your friends or in a college environment. Make sure you take some time to brush up on terminology that is associated with your profession or industry.

Your experience needs to be something you bring to life at the interview. Avoid discussing about irrelevant information. Instead, focus on sharing the experiences you gained from school and work. Tie in how they can help you do a good job as you step into the position they have available. Making that connection will show that you are motivated and have the right attitude.

Too many college graduates worry that they don't have relevant work experience to offer. However, you do have world experience, skills you learned through your education, and your personal motivation to guide you. Identify areas of strength that you have so that you can share them.

Don't downplay what you have to offer. If you want the job -- really want the job -- then ask for it. Tell them why it is important for you and stress the fact that you are a hard worker and willing to learn new skills. This says a great deal about your personal ethics. It will also give the impression that you are after much more than just a paycheck. Be honest, sincere, and promote yourself in a positive manner so they will feel like they must have you as part of their team.

When it is time for the interview to end, make sure you take the time to thank the interviewer. This is a step that may be overlooked but it shows that you have good skills for dealing with people. Be assertive too by asking them when you can hope to hear back about the position. Reiterate your interest in the position and leave with a smile.


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