We’re coming up on it. College senior interview season. When thousands upon thousands of young twenty-somethings get ready to leave the ivy covered walls and go out into the world of business. Here are 11 tips to get you – or your twenty-something son or daughter – ready to shine, impress, and ideally snag that first “real” job.
1. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Include relevant work and education information and use a professional headshot.
2. Check your social media presence. All posts and photos should be appropriate for any audience.
3. Do some research on the company/organization. Work some of this into conversation. It shows you’re interested and took the time to learn about the company.
4. Anticipate interview questions and practice your answers – out loud – ideally with a friend or interview practice partner.
5. Dress appropriately for the interview. A notch up from the position you’re seeking. Everything clean, pressed, and well-fitting.
6. Arrive early. But not too early. Five to 10 minutes is appropriate.
7. Turn off your phone. Don’t just silence it. Turn it off so there will be no distraction.
8. Properly introduce yourself. Firm, but not crushing, handshake. Good eye contact. State your name clearly and tell the other person you’re delighted to meet them.
9. Carry a nice portfolio and writing instrument. Have an extra copy of your resume and write down questions you don’t want to forget to ask. Take notes during the interview. This shows you’re engaged in the process.
10. Have questions to ask of your interviewers. Be interested in the process and the company/organization.
11. Thank your interviewers. Send individual email thank you notes within 24 hours to everyone who interviewed you. Follow those with individual handwritten notes within the following 24 hours.