Interview Etiquette 101

Interview Etiquette 101


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So it’s that time of year again. Students are applying for jobs both on and off-campus, and those who are graduating are sending off their resumes left and right, hoping to hear back from someone.

Once you get that call from a company saying that they want to interview you, you may breathe a sigh of relief until you realize that now you have to prepare for a nerve-wracking interview. Don’t be nervous! The Campus Crop has you covered with these interview etiquette tips:

Dress the part: In the past, The Campus Crop has covered professional dress for both males and females. While dressing professionally may not be comfortable for your typical college student, presentation really does make the best first impression. Dressing to impress truly goes a long way with potential employers. It’s way better to be overdressed in this case than be under dressed (excluding wearing a tuxedo or a ball gown). It shows your respect for the company, hiring manager and their time. On that same note . . .

Do your research: Never, ever show up to an interview unprepared. How do you prepare for an interview? We’re glad you asked! First, research the company. A simple Google Search in the day and age of smartphones can do wonders. After that, look up common interview questions if you haven’t had an interview before (and a quick refresher even if you have can be beneficial). Read the job description over again and make sure you’re qualified. About.com has a great interview question and answer section to help prepare you. Even reading some questions aloud and practicing your answers in front of a mirror can be helpful (as cheesy as it sounds).

Be prepared: Part of being prepared for the job interview is showing up with the right materials. That means printing out copies of your resume (even if you emailed it to your potential employer,) your cover letter, and your portfolio. Prepare them in a professional-looking folder or portfolio that you would be proud to carry. Your work is important, so if you treat it like you value it others will as well.

Be professional:  No matter what job you’re applying for, whether it is a maintenance position or an investment banker, always show up like you are interviewing for the most important job in the world. If you act like you are better than the job that you are applying for, then you probably won’t get the job. Being a little nervous is okay, but try to keep your nerves under control by taking deep breaths or playing your favorite song on the ride to the interview. On the other hand, being overly confident won’t do you any favors. Remember: everyone has to start from the bottom at one point.

Don’t be too casual: Going along with the same thread of being professional, you should never be too casual with your interviewer. Even if they have met you before, you should still treat them professionally and don’t get too jokey in the interview. That same professional courtesy applies to your resume as well. Use your Cal Poly Pomona email or Gmail on your resume, and make sure all your social media websites reflect the same professionalism.

We hope that you find these job interview tips to be helpful. Good luck on the job search and remember that scoring an interview is an important first step! For more professional etiquette articles, visit asi.csupomona.edu/campuscrop.