I’m going to make this quick since you are probably reading this the day before your interview (be honest). Here are some quick interview tips from a management and human resources major here at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP).
Show up early
This goes without saying. It’s the simplest thing to achieve but often times, the most overlooked. Showing up early shows you are interested in the job, and it also shows you can be punctual. Showing up early also reduces the chance of you being late from external forces such as traffic, getting lost, parking problems, etc. The common time to show up early is about 15-20 minutes prior to the appointment time. Thirty minutes is the absolute max; do not show up one hour early. It’ll make the interviewer anxious to help you and might even want to rush to get to your needs.
If it goes badly, don’t give up
If your employer mentions something about the job you do not like, do not give up. Make a note of it and ask them about it after the interview. Don’t let something bad ruin everything else. Remember: an interview is a good time to take note of everything you will be negotiating later, assuming you receive a job offer.
Ask smart questions
A very common thing interviewers do is give time for questions at the end of the interview. This is your time to show your interest. Remember that the questions you ask will reflect to the interviewer what aspects of the job interest you most. Some good questions to ask are: “What can an employee expect in their first 30 days?” “What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?” “Is there room for job growth such as promotions?” NEVER ask how much you will get paid. If the interviewer mentions it, say, “Of course, that is something which we can touch on at a later time.”
3 H’s: Humble, Happy, Hired
Be humble! Companies have a tendency to hire attitude not experience. If this is your dream job, let them know it with your attitude. Do not be over the top and only smile like a weirdo. Have emotions, but don’t forget to keep a good attitude. Remember, a lot of people applied for this, and they called YOU!
Interview at the right company
If you like to write, don’t apply to a company where you won’t be writing anything. If you don’t smoke, don’t apply to a tobacco company. It’s as simple as that. Do your research to make sure you are applying to a company that you will enjoy working for. An interview is a chance for you to look at them from the inside. If you don’t like what you see, you can reject any offers or simply have a good interview, go home and research again.
Questions before the official interview are traps! (sorta)
If the interviewer comes to you, introduces her/himself, and asks, “How was the traffic?” they are trying to see how you interact in a non-professional setting. Even if you spent two hours stuck on the 10 freeway, your reply should be, “Great! Made it here in no time!” Often times, interviewers will do this subconsciously and simply ask a normal question, but they will remember if you answered negatively. Remember, the interview starts from the moment you pull into the driveway. You never know who you might run into in the parking lot.
Dress nicely and take your clothes out for a test run
Your interview will most likely take place somewhere you have never been with people you’ve never met for a job you’ve never had; you have to be comfy somehow! So the week before, wear the clothes you’ll be wearing for the interview. That way, you are comfy in your own shoes, literally.
Have a good luck charm? Bring it!
This isn’t in a textbook, but boy is it true. If you have a lucky bracelet, bring it! If you have a lucky Led Zeppelin shirt, wear it underneath (this worked for me). It’s all in your head, but any help is good help!
IMPORTANT: Have a conversation, not an interview
If you learn anything from this story, it should be this: Everyone’s goal (including yours) should be to stand out. This is how you do it! An interviewer will have many, many interviews. The best way to stand out is to be the one person who had a human conversation with questions. If they say something funny, laugh and say a joke or two back. Feel the room out and just be personable. The best way to do this is to pretend that the interviewer is a friend you haven’t seen in five years and you are catching up. This will at least give you peace of mind when talking to the interviewer.
Well, there you have it, Broncos: some quick interview tips for your next interview. Good luck, and if you get the job, don’t forget who gave you the tips! Do you have any interview tips to share? Share with us using the hashtag #CampusCropChat on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and remember to follow us on Snapchat @asicpp.