The Job Interview
There are probably few situations that make people more uncomfortable than job interviews do. After you have managed to put together a resume that takes what little experience you have and puts it into a very positive light, you now have to sit across the table from someone who will dissect it, bit by bit. You will be asked to prove why you are the best person for the job. Most people would find that quite intimidating. As a new graduate you not only have little work experience, you don't have a lot of experience with job interviews, either. This can put you at a disadvantage when competing with more savvy job seekers.
The best thing you can do to help improve your chance of succeeding on the job interview is to know your resume inside and out. With each question you answer on a job interview, you want to exude extreme confidence. You don't want to sound hesitant or unsure of yourself. You know what you're capable of doing, and you want the interviewer to know it too.
If an interviewer tries to offer you advice on your career, be careful how you respond. Interviewers sometimes try to take on the role of career counselor in order to determine how committed a candidate is to a particular field. If you are having doubts about being in a field, the job interview isn't the time for you to discuss them.
Leave any traces of college behind you when you go on a job interview. Backpacks are great for toting around your books on a college campus, but they scream “student,” not “potential employee.” Take a briefcase or even a small portfolio with you to a job interview. Wear a business suit, of course, and dress shoes. Make sure your nails are well manicured and your hair is neatly groomed. Wear simple jewelry. Unless you are interviewing in a creative field, cover up tattoos and piercings. Turn off your cell phone when you are on a job interview.
Learn to make eye contact. You should also speak clearly. You won't be able to convince the employer to hire you if the interviewer can't understand what you are saying. Refrain from using slang or obscene language: While it may be perfectly acceptable among your peers, it is not appropriate on a job interview. Learn how to shake hands properly. If your interview is taking place over a meal, become familiar with the rules of etiquette for dining. You can learn more about job interviews in Chapter 13.