Last week, my staff and I interviewed a number of undergraduate students for summer employment positions. While most of these students were appropriately dressed and carried themselves very well, there were others that did not have a clue. These students seemed to be lacking a mentor, an advisor, or simply the counsel of someone with job placement experience. I offer this blog to share my “Top 10 Interview Tips for the Novice Interviewee.” While this information may seem basic to many experienced interviewees, this information is invaluable for the novice interviewee.
1. Do not chew gum.
- Chewing gum during the interview is unprofessional and distracts the interviewer. To keep your breath fresh chew a couple of mints a few minutes before your interview.
2. Do not wear jeans, especially the type with a lot of holes.
- Also, stretch pants are a particular pet peeve of mine.
3. Dress as seriously as you want to be taken.
- Dressing nicely makes you feel better during the interview, and gives the interviewer a positive perception of you.
4. Be careful with headwear.
- Avoid hats (unless it is religious headdress).
5. Do not overuse cologne or perfume.
- It is best not to use any fragrances, if possible. You won’t know beforehand if your interviewer has a sensitivity to certain smells.
6. Do not use slang or curse words.
- Using inappropriate language makes you look unprofessional.
7. Only use words with which you are familiar.
- Using a word out of context looks bad.
8. Do not wear night club outfits. (i.e. mini-skirts, fish-net stockings, or metallic shirts)
- If you would wear the clothing out during a night of partying, it is most likely inappropriate interview attire.
9. Research the position and the employer.
- This act shows that you care about the organization and the position.
10. Know yourself.
- Having a firm understanding of yourself makes it easy to connect your knowledge, skills, and abilities to the position.
The interviewer should be focused on your words and nothing else. Avoid any distractions.