A recent experience got me thinking about job and internship interviews and all of the advice we’re given along the way as we embark into the real world.
While a lot of emphasis is put on what we’re supposed to do/dress like/say, the focus isn’t usually on what you’re NOT supposed to do. Sometimes, even the most basic things will take you off guard and help you slip into an uncomfortable situation if you’re not on your best behavior. You’d be surprised at what some college students deem to be acceptable interview behavior.
To help you avoid becoming one of those people, here is some advice I’ve picked up on from both being an interviewer and interviewee:
I don’t care if you step into a nest of fire ants — you should never curse while on a job interview … under any circumstance. Clean out your mouth and raise your standards! Even if you’re not directly being interviewed and bring up one of these words in a casual conversation, it still could mess up your appearance. There are eyes and ears watching and listening to every move you make, so even if you think it’s OK to curse, you can’t be 100 percent sure the wrong person didn’t hear your message.
Treat everyone equally
You are not an employee, so you have no right to feel like you’re “above” anyone else. You should treat every single person you meet while on your interview — from the janitor to the CEO — with the same level of respect. Bosses do make their rounds to see what other employees thought of you, and if you’ve got two faces, they won’t want you.
I don’t care how tired you are or if it was completely an accident, you need to apologize if it happens. If you can’t stop yawning, take a bathroom break or get up and find a drink of water. Yawning, even if done unintentionally, looks like you’re not interested and don’t think of this company as worth your time. Don’t forget the impact you can make!
Play it safe
Even if you’re 100 percent sure you do not want to work at this place, you need to keep a positive attitude all the way up to the very end of your interview. Many professions are tight-knit, and word can spread pretty quickly if you’ve proven to be a rude and inconsiderate job applicant.
Discussing the past
While it’s important to note that most likely you have had some experience in the field elsewhere, which becomes your best point of reference, don’t constantly bring up where you have worked. We’re not here to rehash the past with you — we want you to learn how our workplace gets from point A to point B every day.
You need to be on your absolute best behavior the second you walk into the door for your interview. Your potential employer expects you to be your best self during this time — if you make poor decisions, the employer will quickly realize that your “best self” just isn’t good enough.
My best advice is just to be the best possible version of yourself that you can be. Let your personality shine through and show the world your light!