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Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Interview Experience

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Is your practicum/co-op interview coming up soon? Are you a recent graduate looking to start your career? Going on interviews and finding a perfect job can be stressful for any of us. So, here are some DOs and DON’Ts to help you succeed in your upcoming interviews.

Preparation is key:

DO research the company and prepare a few key questions that you can ask the employer at the end. This shows you’re interested in the company and the employer will be impressed that you did your homework!

DON’T overwhelm yourself with trying to memorize and discuss lots of information. Let the interviewer do most of the talking and listen carefully. Being a good listener is just as important as asking a powerful question!

 

Dress to impress:

DO prepare your interview outfit ahead of time. Try to wear something conservative that shows you are a polished and confident professional.

DON’T panic if you are overdressed compared to your interviewer. You may not always know the company culture, so it’s better to be on the safe side and dress in business formal.

 

Practice your elevator pitch:

DO prepare a well crafted 1 minute introduction of yourself. The most effective way you can do this is to keep it short, career-focused and to show you understand your strengths and weaknesses. This is a great way to market yourself when asked a question such as: “What can you tell me about yourself” or “Tell me about your past work experience.”

DON’T mention every single skill you have and every project you worked on in the past. Stick to a few important skills that you think set you apart from the rest of the candidates.

 

Know your references:

DO bring your list of references to the interview. Sometimes the company may want to speed up the recruitment process and it’s great when a candidate has those prepared and ready to go.

DON’T put more than 4 references on your list. The interviewer won’t have time to call too many people. So, keep the list short and make sure all your references know in advance that they may receive a phone call.

 

Change your mind set:

DO remember that your interview is to help determine it’s a good fit for BOTH of you. Changing your mind set to one of discovery rather than one of being interviewed can decrease the anxiety and nervousness 

DON’T put too much pressure on yourself. You will likely go on many interviews, and the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be.

 

Watch your body language:

DO make eye contact with the interviewer, smile and nod every once in a while. This shows you are interested and listening carefully to what they’re saying.

DON’T cross your arms in front of you or turn away from the speaker. This shows you are no longer interested in the interview or in hearing the interviewer’s thoughts. Keep in mind, that in some cultures these gestures could even be considered offensive.

 

Most importantly, just remember that it’s okay to be nervous; even your interviewer was in your shoes at some point. Just follow these simple steps and put your best foot forward.

For more articles like this, keep your eyes on our blog for regular posts from our employment coordinators!

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