I, for, one know that preparing for the “real world” can be a little scary. I remember being a senior in college and constantly thinking about my next step. I was trying to decide whether I wanted to go straight to graduate school or go to work or do both. Ever since I was in high school, they told me that college was the “real world.” Honestly, college is a nice replica of the “real world.” It’s a chance to be on your own and continually figure out who you are and who you want to be. Well, I chose to go right to work after college. By the way, I plan on getting my masters’ degree in a couple of years. Anyway, as you can imagine, I went to job interviews. I actually went to some awesome job interviews. They honestly weren’t as scary as people made them out to be. Yet, like you, I was a nervous wreck thinking about one of my “real world” job interviews. Here are a few tips that helped me not to be so nervous when going into an interview. Now, I know I don’t know everything, but these tips truly helped me.
1. Be prepared.
I cannot stress this point enough, as why I put as number one. Whatever company you are interviewing with, whether it’s a newspaper (me!), public relations firm, law firm, teaching position, or anything else, be prepared! I want to encourage you to research the company before your interview as it shows you’re truly interested in becoming part of the team. I also want to encourage you to have multiple copies of your resume and cover letter with you. Make sure nothing, I mean, nothing is misspelled and it looks neat and presentable. Having this on hand shows your potential employer that you mean business and are proud of what is on your resume.
2. Dress appropriately.
You probably heard your mother nagging you about this one, but listen to her. Studies have shown that potential employers are willing to take you more seriously and consider you when you look presentable. Take advice from Drake ft. TI and Swizz Beats on the song “Fancy” when they said, “Nails done, hair done, everything did.” It might be song lyrics but it does apply to job interviews. Make sure your hair is done nice in a style you like. Paint your nails if you want. Wear your favorite shoes with the outfit. Speaking of outfits, considering the weather of course, I would wear a nice blouse with my favorite black skirt, heels, and jewelry. Fellas, I didn’t forget about you! A freshly ironed button-down shirt with nice slacks, dress socks, and shoes will do just fine.
3. Make sure your resume isn’t just filled with awesome grades.
Now, if you make all A’s in college, that is truly fantastic. I encourage you to keep going with those good grades, but remember that they are not everything. My employer didn’t ask me one question about the grades I made in college, even though I had great grades. Your employer might look at your grades, but I promise you that they will look at your leadership experience and extracurricular activities first! I joined clubs that helped to make a difference on-campus and expanded on my major. I accepted leadership roles and did my very best in those positions. These types of activities on your resume show that you are one to be trusted and are not afraid to branch out and step up. It will truly impress them.
Be confident. Know that when you accept an appointment for a job interview, they want to get to know you! They want to see if you are going to be a good fit with the company and get along with the other employees. Be confident in your skills and what you bring to the table and let the real you shine!