10 Ways We Can Master Interviews

interview-successInterviewing is a skill that not everyone has mastered. I am a Resident Assistant on campus at San Francisco State University, and I spent today interviewing new candidates for the job I currently have. Interviewing someone else was a great way to reflect on my own skills and behaviors. Here are 10 ways to own an interview:

1) Know What the Company Does It looks great if you use relevant terms and show that you have some knowledge of what the organization does. Look up their mission statement, or maybe even some advertisements. Try to find something that you can bring up. Trust me!

2) Perfect Your Resume Before you walk in, the interviewer will already have read your resume. The resume could be their first impression of you. Make sure you perfect your resume before you go in for the interview!

3) Be Concise Pretty straight forward. If you go on and on about one topic, you could run out of time. Don’t do that!

4) Confidence Is Key You should be applying to jobs for which you are qualified. Get your points across in a calm, relevant way. Nerves can get in the way of that. Try to settle down, release some of that stress, and relax.

5) Make Sure Your Personality Shows I’m going to say it a million times. If you usually joke around, make them laugh. If you’re a serious person, don’t make a joke that flops. You know who you are, show them too. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Interviewing is a lot like dating. You might have every qualification, but they might get along with someone else better. Don’t let someone take your job because they made someone laugh.

6) Be Honest If someone is interviewing you, they are likely interviewing many others as well, with the same exact questions. They can see through fake answers. Don’t try to turn everything into a positive. Be yourself. If you have a weakness, it shows strength that you are able to embrace it. Show that you are working on it, and that you’re learning.

7) Stay on Topic If you are asked a question, answer that question, and move on. Within that answer, talk about your skills, your experiences, and your goals. The way you speak will show that you are relate-able. You don’t need to talk about things that are off topic.

8) Don’t Skip Questions People care about their questions. Questions are just opportunities for you to show that you’re perfect for the job. If you don't answer, it could be assumed that you aren’t qualified. The interview could be a waste of time for both parties.

9) Ask Your Own Questions When the interview is over, ask a few questions. It’s good to show that you are interested in the way things go within the organization. Ask something that might start a fun conversation, and engage the interviewer.

10) Have Fun

I know that is quite typical for a tenth rule, but it's true! These are people you want to spend everyday with. Have fun. Be professional, but have fun.

Interview skills are really important. I’m not an expert, but I’m learning. It’s important that above all, you are confident, and you are yourself. Show them who you are. Show them you’re the perfect fit.

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