It’s job-cuffing season! As the spring semester comes to a close and final exams are in view, all we need is another thing to be worried about—getting a summer job. Whether you’re approaching graduation and in search of your dream job, applying for summer internships or even just a summer job to bring in some cash, the struggle is real. Job searching is hard enough as it is but what really puts the icing on the cake is that dreaded interview. Interviews can be intimidating, especially for those that crack under pressure. After hearing a panel of power players discuss interview tips, and after experiencing a few interviews on my own, I came away with some valuable information to help any student ace that interview.

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Dress to Impress

First things first, presentation is everything. This doesn’t necessarily mean go out and buy designer everything to wear to your interview. However, everyone has some sense of fashion and understands what looks good and what doesn’t. Treat your interview like you would a formal meeting with the president. Dress to be your best. In addition to the clothes you wear, wear a smile of confidence on your face. They always say, ‘never judge a book by its cover’ but a pretty, polished cover certainly can’t harm a first impression.

Askin’ All Them Questions

During face-to-face conversations, it is natural to nod and express grunts of agreement to show that you are listening. However, during an interview, this habit can actually be a turn-off to possible employers. Once, I heard the director of talent acquisition at Blueprint CLT say that ‘no employer wants a room of yes people.’ Instead, employers are looking for people to hire that are curious, inquisitive and interested in bettering their business. So, if you find yourself in the middle of an interview, nodding away like you’re jamming to a song on the radio, try to engage yourself in the conversation. This will impress your interviewer and prove to them that you aren’t just there to agree with everything they say.

Be Real, Man

Oftentimes, this can be the most challenging part of an interview. Not to say that anyone acts ‘fake’ on purpose, but we all like to put on our best show for possible employers. Again, another detrimental part of human nature. For example, if a person was to claim that they are extremely organized during an interview and once they are hired, this claim to fame goes to garbage, an employer may regret hiring that person. Social media is also an important component in modern day interviews. Be prepared for employers to question you about things that you post on your social accounts since they are used as a platform that represents who you are. It is important to stay true to yourself, your ethics and the personality traits that make you, you! Authenticity is valued and respected so it is smart to be consistent in the way that you act from the beginning.

Thank You, Thank You Very Much

Channeling your inner Elvis and sending out a ‘thank you’ email or letter 24 hours after your interview is the bow that ties it all together. Saying ‘thank you’ is not only courteous, but also proves that you are excited about the opportunity and view your chance to interview as a privilege. Once you’ve dazzled your interviewer with a polished appearance, an inquisitive nature and the REAL you, reaching out to say ‘thanks’ is sure to land you the job.

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