10 Steps You Need To Take If You Are Going To Ace Your Next Interview

10 Steps You Need To Take If You Are Going To Ace Your Next Interview

Tips 9 and 10 are the most important!

The resume, the recommendations, the essays, and the interview; it all adds up to a crazy whirlwind of stress, excitement, and waiting.

I am writing this fresh out of an interview. A million thoughts are running through my mind and I may need to take a nap before I can move on with my life. As stressful as applying for a job is, the interview is the most nerve-racking part. You only get one shot to make an impression that says, "Hey there! I am passionate and ready for whatever you can throw at me".

Preparing for essentially a presentation in which you have no idea what you will be presenting is arduous. But there are a couple things you can do to make sure that you ace your next interview.

1. Wear one thing that makes you stand out.

Everyone knows that during a professional interview you should dress your best. But I find that wearing one unique article of clothing or accessory can help you stick out. I remember one time interviewing for an internship at a hotel and I came wearing a huge skirt covered in watercolor flowers. It wasn't over the top but it was just enough to catch my interviewer's eye. Anything from a colorful bow tie to a special necklace or pin can really compliment your look. But make sure not to be too excessive, you want to be professional and avoid distracting your interviewers.

2. Take time to breathe.

Feeling nervous can make you talk fast and speed through all the questions. But, if the interviewers are unable to catch your responses, it will be like they never happened. So beforehand take some time to breathe, maybe meditate and calm your nerves.

3. Give a firm handshake.

A strong first impression can be conveyed through a firm handshake. Do not just give your hand to your interviewer, this is the very first exchange you will be making, so make sure your grip is solid. I noticed that after improving my own handshake, people respected me more in conversations. It is a matter of telling that person whether you are dismissive or worth listening to. And you are worth listening to.

The first thing you should do when you enter the room is give an awesome handshake and tell them your name, this will be a great start.

4. If you can, make small talk.

No matter how extroverted you are, sitting in front of interviewers can be intimidating. The best way for you to feel comfortable with your interviewers is getting to know them. Ask them questions and make sure you know their names. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so use that. If you can, throw in a few fun facts about yourself as well. This will help them warm up to you.

5. Take your time when answering questions.

Just because your interview may be timed, or the silence feels a little awkward, pause before you answer a question. You do not need to respond to every question immediately, it takes time to fabricate quality thoughts. So before answering think about what you are going to say and organize your thoughts in a way that will help you deliver compelling responses.

6. Be specific in your answers and give examples.

When you are being asked questions on the spot it is difficult to construct perfect thoughts that have a start and end. A good strategy for answering interview questions is by using the S.T.A.R. method (situation, task, action, result). Present a situation, the task that was at hand, the action you took to solve the situation and a result of your experience. Following this tactic can help you organize your ideas in a way that will prevent jargon. If you forget about this strategy, just make sure you are pulling specific examples from your past to back up your answers. This will add personal charm to any answer that could otherwise sound generic.

7. Have fun!

The best part of the interview is that you can be yourself. You are no longer marginalized to a resume and 600-word essay, you are just you. Show the interviewers your charisma and convey to them that you are not only passionate but excited to be applying. Your interviewers are probably talking to people all day in these structured conversations. So throw them a curveball and let loose a little. They are people too, and people love personality.

8. After the interview is done, ask questions.

When interviewers ask you if you have any questions, they genuinely want you to have some. So come to your interview prepared with a few queries. This can strongly convey your interest in the position. And, it will show the interviewers that you are already prepared to take the job.

9. Remember, you miss all the shots you don't take.

This is a motto I live by and can be applied to most things, especially interviews. You may feel nervous about the whole thing and even if you are unsure how you did, the point is that you tried. The only thing you can do is give it your best shot and know that if you had not attempted the job you would have missed the opportunity anyways. So don't be afraid to give this interview your all, you have nothing to lose.

10. Practice makes perfect.

Ultimately, no matter how much people tell you to "just be yourself," it will be difficult. Interviews are these rare conversations you have where you are sitting in the hot seat and all the questions being thrown at you almost feel random. The only way you can get better at juggling this is practice. I'm not talking about practicing interviews in the comforts of your home. I am talking about going out there and taking advantage of every interview you give. The more interviews you go to, the more you will improve executing them. So do not be afraid of failing, just go in there, smile and do your best.

Cover Image Credit: EveryPixel

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.


So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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