Interview Tips for College Students

Whether you’re an underclassman looking for your first internship, a graduating senior trying to get your first “grown up” job, or even a first-year student just trying to get some practice, interviews can be intimidating. After all, these are people who might hold your future employment in their hands – you sure don’t want to mess it up! Even if this isn’t your first interview, it can still be scary, so here are a few tips to help you feel more confident and prepared:

 

  1. Run through some practice questions. Be prepared to talk about your previous work experience, or any internships or volunteer positions you’ve had, and how they’ve prepared you for the position you’re interviewing for. Even if you just run through a list of potential questions once or twice, it can help you feel less overwhelmed when they actually get asked in the interview.
  2. Dress for success. Now might not the time to break out that brand new outfit you’ve never worn – not because it isn’t interview-appropriate, but because you might not be totally comfortable. If this is your first interview, something new might be your only option, but if you have the choice it’s probably better to wear something that you’re comfortable in.
  3. Be confident but be honest. Just like you wouldn’t lie or embellish the truth on your resume, you definitely shouldn’t do it in an interview. But don’t sell yourself short, either! Just because you don’t have work experience in a particular field, that doesn’t mean you don’t have experiences and training that can help you in the position, so be confident in your abilities!
  4. Ask questions. It’s pretty common for interviewers to dedicate time at the end of the interview for any questions you might have, so take advantage of this time! Even if you think you’ve gotten all the information you need, it’s best to have a few backup questions in mind so that you have something to ask. Getting clarification on job responsibilities, for example, is never a bad idea.
  5. Follow up. Though you might breathe a big sigh of relief when you leave the room, you’re not done yet! Get contact information for the people who interviewed you and make sure to send them a thank you card or email. Not only is this simple politeness, it confirms your interest in the position and gives you a place to bring up any questions or points you might have forgotten in the moment.

 

There’s no doubt that interviews make a lot of us pretty nervous – no matter how much we prepare, there’s no getting around the fact that they’re a pretty big deal. But there are lots of ways to help you feel more prepared and present your best in your interview, and these are just a few!

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