10 Tips To Ace That Job Interview

10 Tips To Ace That Job Interview

What makes you stand out from the rest? Why should they want you? Let companies know why you are an essential asset to them!
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College is the time to learn and excel at your future career. Companies know this very well, and want to find those bright students before they are committed to a different company. Every year, usually at the beginning of the year, career fairs arrive.

They happen back to back and take us away from our classes to have us stress about our futures. When we finally get the courage to talk to a recruiter and give them our resumes, they advise you to apply online anyway. As the year progresses, more students are being invited to interviews by the companies they apply for, and/or have talked to at a career fair. For this reason, here is a list of some tips to help you prepare for your interviews.

1. Research the company ahead of time

Finding information on the position you are interviewing for can help you steer the conversation in the direction of what they are looking for. Also learning about what the company does, and bringing up your findings will show that you are interested in them and give you bonus points.

2. Be ready with a list of questions

They will ask at the end of the interview if you have any questions for them. You never want to say that you don’t have any. Asking questions at the end of the interview is a win-win. You get to know more about the insides of the company, and they see that you are interested in them. If you have a lot of questions or even just some you don’t want to forget, write them down and bring it with you. You can even take notes about their answers. It will show them that you are prepared! Also, do not be afraid to ask questions about your resume or what they think of you. I once asked a question about what reservations they had for hiring me, and they told me that I had done extremely well during the interview.

3. Give yourself enough time before the interview

Always allow yourself enough time to get dressed, eat, and arrive early. But with that, make sure you use your time to calm down and feel confident. Pep talks in the mirror always work. If your heart is pounding, sit down and try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. To prepare, briefly, think about what key points you want to emphasize on your resume and recall what projects and activities you have taken part in. The interviewer will most likely want to know more about them.

4. Dress professionally, but comfortably confident

Blazers, blouses, polos, skirts, and slacks are all good options. Whatever you wear should make you feel so amazing that the interviewer’s first impression is that you look professional and mean business. Be confident in your appearance! On top of that, make sure to keep good posture and eye contact to never take away from their impression of you. If it is something you would naturally do, lean in to seem engaged when they are explaining things to you. Also, let them initiate a handshake! It will be awkward if they leave you hanging. Even though these are all appearance related, remember that your words and thoughts mean more to them than your outfit.

5. Don’t use perfume/cologne

You may want to smell good, but instead, it could leave them feeling uneasy about you. Just use deodorant!

6. Think of something you want them to remember you by


This is extremely important. They could be interviewing dozens of students from your university or hundreds around the country. What makes you stand out from the rest? Why should they want you? Whether they directly ask you these questions or you need to incorporate them into your answers, let them know why you are an essential asset to them!

7. Feel comfortable with the interviewer so the conversation flows better

Stress is normal in these situations. If you can, though, try to take control of your nerves by looking at the interview as a conversation. It may be more formal than what you are used to, but that’s all it is. They really want to see if you are a good fit and if you will benefit in their work environment. On top of that, try to control any rambling that may happen due to anxiety. Watch their body language. If they seem to look at all bored or annoyed, maybe finish up your thought or try to ask them a question about your little monologue. Like if you went into a lot of depth about a certain internship, ask if they think their internship will be similar.

8. Have an optimistic outlook when it comes to your answers

When answering questions, try to be positive. If they ask you how a team project challenged you, answer it honestly. Honesty is the best policy! In between thoughts, make sure to talk about how you overcame those hardships or what you could have done better. Speaking of answers, if they ask for your weakness, do not say you are a perfectionist. Everyone says that, and I can guarantee they don’t want to hear it. They know you are human. Tell them something that you truly struggle with. For example, maybe you have trouble staying organized. You can tell them that! Then you could add that you have been trying to make a weekly plan and working on implementing it.

9. Ask for their email to thank them (within 24 hours)

I learned about this little formality this year. It’s highly suggested to ask your interviewer for their e-mail or for their business card. Within 24 hours, try to contact them. Thank them for their time and write a couple sentences that cover what you talked about to refresh their memory. There are tons of thank you e-mail templates out there to look at!

10. For technical interviews, case studies, etc., do not panic

Study beforehand, if you can. Try to review any material they could ask. But 9 times out of 10, they’re asking questions that you should have already learned. If you can’t remember, don’t be afraid to use them as a sounding board. They will help you through it. Some interviewers also want to know how you go about the problem, so vocalizing your train of thought may sound strange, but it could be exactly what they want to hear. They are not there to watch you fail. Keep in mind, they just want to see if you would succeed at this specific job.

Don't stress too much. Good luck!!

Also, thank you to my friends and other Odyssey writers for helping me come up with this list!

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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40 Small Things That Make College Students Happy

It doesn't take much...
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1. When class is canceled.

2. When the coffee shop you stop at five minutes before your 8 a.m. has a short line.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

4. Open note tests.

5. Or even better, take home tests.

6. The unofficial assigned seating process that that takes place after the first week or so of classes.

7. Thursday nights. (because in college, Thursday qualifies as the weekend.)

8. Sales.

9. Or once again, even better, free things.

10. Specifically free food.

11. Dogs.

12. Dogs on campus.

13. Tailgates and Saturday afternoon football games.

14. Finding an already completed Quizlet for your exam.

15. Having an extra 30 minutes for a nap, and if you're lucky, an hour.

16. Netflix.

17. When your roommate takes out the trash.

18. Weekends after test weeks.

19. The rare blessing of a curve on an exam.

20. Getting out of class early.

21. How in college, it is socially expectable to wear a t-shirt everyday.

22. Being able to walk from class to class or eat in the dining hall without having to see anyone you know. (and thank goodness too because you probably don't look too good.)

23. Crossing things off of your to-do list.

24. Your best-friends that you make in college.

25. A full tank of gas.

26. Seeing a new face everyday.

27. Crawling back into bed after your 8 or 9 a.m. (or after any class that ends with a.m.)

28. Care packages.

29. No cover charges.

30. When adults tell you that it is okay that you have no idea what you want to do with your life yet. (regardless of what parents or your advisor may say.)

31. Pizza.

32. Finding out you weren't the only one who did poorly on the exam.

33. Deciding not to buy the textbook, and never needing it.

34. Finding the perfect gif to express how you're feeling. (Michael Scott just get it.)

35. Weekends at home because...

36. Pets.

37. Mom's home cooked pie and Dad's steak dinners,

38. Spring Break.

39. Road trips.

40. When it finally starts to cool down outside so you can show up to class dry instead of dripping in sweat.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Wideman

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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