Do's and Don'ts of Interviews

Guest Blogger: Meghan Malhame (C’15) 

Do: Dress to impress, but please do not go overboard.

There are many ways to expand on ways to dress to impress (which I will be doing at a later time) but this is a basic sum up. There are multiple industries out there, and while some of them call for a similar dress code, there are others that are definitely unique. For example, if you are interviewing for a job in the financial industry, a suit is the way to go for guys and a nice pair of pants or a pencil skirt, a blouse, and a blazer is a good way to go. Feel free to swap in a dress too. If you are having doubts about your outfit, and wondering if it is appropriate, then most likely there are some issues.

Don’t: Show up more than fifteen minutes early.

For one of my college interviews, I happened to arrive over twenty minutes early. I spent that fifteen of those minutes trying to perfectly park my car (completely unnecessary) and practice breathing exercises. I made myself more nervous than I should have been, and getting that butterfly feeling in your stomach is the worst. In no way am I suggesting that you show up late for something, because that will obviously make a bad impression, but sitting outside an interview for a ridiculous amount of time is not fun.

Do: Be prepared to answer questions you were not expecting.

I know this seems like common sense, but this is something you truly need to be able to do. If someone asks you a question that you were not ready for, stay calm and do not say the first thing that crosses your mind. Take a few seconds to think and then go for it, because before you know it you may say something that will make your interview very memorable, and for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t: Pull a Stepbrothers.

If any of you have seen this scene, then you know exactly what I am talking about. If you have not, here is a clip for reference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EjqOCpM7d8

Do: Have a firm handshake.

There have been times when I have met people and they shake my hand, and their fingers literally seem limp. Up to this point they seem like great people, but I cannot help but think that a good handshake is important, and interviewers feel the same way. This may seem obvious, but if there is any doubt in your mind that you cannot completely a proper handshake, I recommend you get some second opinions from friends and fix it.

Don’t: Twitch in your seat.

Body language is everything during an interview. Crossing your arms over your chest, shaking your legs, moving your feet, even rubbing your face are all examples of things you should not do. No matter how nervous you are, try your hardest to appear calm, cool and collected. Be engaged and show interest (not too much though, you do not want to look crazy) and it will pay off.

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