If you are a young person getting ready to embark on the search for a summer job or know someone who is (hello parents, teachers!), then this post is for you!
Whether you’re attempting to land your dream position, an internship, or a temporary summer job, everyone needs to be in top form for interviews in this challenging job market. Here are some tips that will help set you apart and avoid any deal breakers when the pressure is on.
Tip 1: Make a great first impression. You might not realize this, but the first 30 seconds of an interview can make or break your chances of landing a job. Your chances could be shot if you don’t make an strong first impression. Be friendly, confident, enthusiastic, and polite. Smile, keep good eye contact, and have a firm handshake.
Tip 2: Be likeable! Employer surveys routinely identify “likeability” as one of the most important selection factors among similarly qualified candidates. In most job searches, there are any number of eligible applicants, but employers will not hire someone unless they think they would enjoy working with them. Think of it as a “next door neighbor” test. Can they see you as their next door neighbor? You’d better hope so!
Tip 3: Avoid negativity and arrogance at all costs. You want to portray yourself as friendly, positive, enthusiastic, and relaxed (but not causal!). Highlight your strong points and achievements with humility.
Tip 4: Be professional in your appearance and grammar. Many job candidates don’t think to eliminate slang or text jargon from their vocabulary during an interview, but it’s important. Be crisp and present yourself as if you’re applying for your dream job, even if this isn’t it.
Tip 5: Don’t do all the talking! Engage the interviewers with thoughtful questions about the company or open position. Do your research before the interview by reading the company’s website, mission statement, current news, etc. This will give you insight and provide fuel for some engaging questions that will create conversation.
Tip 6: If you’re a nervous wreck before an interview, cough! It sounds silly, but it truly helps. It’s actually more therapeutic than a deep breath. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a handkerchief in your pocket!
What kind of impression do you make on others who don’t know you well? How would they rate you on the likeability scale? What have your past interview experiences been like? Successes? Failures?