Tips and Tricks for Nailing an Interview

By Patricia Ressell-Deras
Opinion Editor

With summer internships being posted and part-time positions opening, it is the season of interviewing. As you get ready for that big interview, don’t forget some key points that will help you stand out from the rest of the interviewees.

Dress to impress:
Most companies should understand that college students may not have a suit or 4-inch heels in their closet on stand-by. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t dress for the position you want. Some students go to interviews dressed in what could be considered business casual, but there are a few accessories that can really make an outfit stand out.

For girls, ankle boots are significantly better than your standard flats. Be aware that while jewelry can help elevate an outfit, too much jewelry can disrupt the vibes of an outfit. Dainty necklaces, or just earrings are more than enough bling without looking too flashy. You’re going to an interview, not the club.

For guys, facial grooming can make or break an outfit. You can dress like you’re the CEO but if your beard looks like you can use it as storage, you may not be taken as a serious candidate.

Dress shirts beat polo tops any day of the week. If you do wear a dress shirt, remember to iron it. Wrinkles will make you look lazy. If you don’t know how, or don’t like to iron, then invest in a steamer. Best $20 you can spend as an adult.

Practice your handshake:
The first impressions of yourself that you will leave on your interviewer is your handshake. A strong handshake can be just the edge you need over the rest of the applicants.

Try to be the first to initiate the handshake. Don’t grip your interviewer’s hand too tightly. You want to apply enough pressure to prove that you have confidence, not that you can beat them in an arm-wrestling match.

And don’t forget that when shaking your interviewer’s hand, you want to be looking into their eyes rather than their hands.

Try practicing on family members and roommates
to perfect your handshake. It may seem dumb at first, but it will be worth it when you are interviewing for that internship you have been dying to get.

Always have copies on hand:
While the company you are applying for may already have your resume. It doesn’t hurt to bring multiple copies of your resume to your interview.

Your interviewer may not have a copy of your resume in front of them when they are interviewing you, or they may just be testing you to see if you are prepared. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to have a few copies on stand-by.

The interviewing process is a big step in obtaining an internship or job. However, you shouldn’t let the interview process scare you. By dwelling on negative thoughts, you could psych yourself out. Before interviewing, remember to breathe. When answering your interviewer’s questions, remember to breathe. Don’t let stress overtake you, do a quick deep breath and imagine exhaling your nerves away.

As you start to apply for internships and jobs remember these tips to ensure you have a good interview.

Don’t forget that you can also use resources available to you through the school, such as Career Development and programs and events that the school offers.

And remember that college is supposed to be the learning time of your life, it’s okay if you aren’t chosen as the candidate or you don’t get a callback. It’s not the end of your career, apply to another position and don’t be afraid to try again.