Interviewing is a skill, and it takes practice. You have to be able to calmly and clearly explain why you are the best person for the job. You must boast about your accomplishments and experiences and feel comfortable about it. It’s not bragging; it’s getting the job. You want to practice saying what you want to say, out loud, and eliminate the “uh,” “um,” “like,” “you know,” and other superfluous language ticks you might have that will lessen the esteem of the recruiter or the committee. Grab a friend or family member to interview you. Ask people who have been on interviews the questions that might appear. The library has books to help you prepare for an interview. Then practice speaking clearly, calmly, and assertively about your skills.
Research the organization.
When did it start? Who started it? How large is it? Talk to a librarian and find out how to research it if you don’t know how. This information can tell you if you want to work there. In addition, it provides a basis for thoughtful questions you can ask at the interview. Smoothly dropping in some of the information you learned shows that you go to the extra effort, as you will do in the job.
Dress to impress.
You will be judged on your appearance, so do your best to show that you care about it. Many jobs are conservative, so downplay the piercings or tattoos. Clean under your nails. Clean your shoes. Borrow professional clothing from the Career Center’s Clothing Closet, if you don’t have appropriate clothing.
Give yourself extra time.
Showing up late definitely gives the wrong impression. Plan how long it takes to get there. Plan for traffic problems, parking problems, road work, and getting lost. You do not want to arrive flustered and irritated rather than early and relaxed.
Ditch the social media accounts.
Set social media accounts to friends and family only, and create new accounts for professional viewing. And keep them professional only. Recruiters may judge you by your latest Facebook post.
Write a thank you e-mail.
After the interview, send a thank you note or e-mail. Thank them for their time and interest. Even if you don’t get the job, you might end up meeting these people at a conference. They might hold the keys to a better job down the road. Never burn bridges, and always have good manners.