Preparing for an interview: the three stages


Jazz Conde

Mrs. Tebbetts (left) and Lauren Kim (right) shaking hands at the end of an interview.

Jazz Conde, Lifestyle Editor

If you’ve been to an interview in the past, then you know how nerve-racking and stressful they can be. Your goal should always be to impress your potential employer. Although, for most of you, this is probably going to be your first real job. If you’re looking for a guide to get through a successful interview, keep reading for some tips on how to achieve your goal.

Before the interview:

Before even attempting to set up your interview, make sure you’re aware of what the job has to offer. Do some research and become aware of what you’re potentially headed in for.

Showing up without prior knowledge of your job description will not reflect well when your employer begins to ask questions or tries to speak with you about the job. It will benefit you when you’re trying to ask questions about the job that you’re uncertain of, getting you ahead of the game on what comes with the job and helps with a final decision.

You should always put together a resume, even if you sent in beforehand. It shows your potential employer that you are prepared. They may not have one on hand, so having an extra copy for them will help.

How you present yourself to your employer is essential, this is where first impressions come in. Your first impression will definitely set the mood for the rest of the interview, so you want to be as prepared and ready as possible.

Beforehand, always know where the location of your interview is. You don’t want it to be the day of the interview and suddenly you realize that you have no clue where it is. Maybe do a test run a few days before, just to be sure.

Before you walk in, make sure any of your electronic devices are on silent. You don’t want anything to disrupt or distract your interview. You will probably feel as confident as you could possibly be. Chances are, however, once you step foot into your interview, the nervousness will kick in. Try not to overthink too much, just go in and give your best efforts.

During the interview:

Be prepared to talk about yourself. You have to remember that the interviewer could be a potential co-worker. One thing you don’t want to do is create a boring image of yourself or make it seem like your life only revolves around your work. That being said, you should still try to present yourself professionally. Talk about your skills and any experience you may have with a similar past job.

Be positive. Don’t allow yourself to get dragged into a negative topic or talking down upon people. While it may not seem like a problem in the moment, being negative could badly reflect your character. Even if an aspect of the job doesn’t immediately catch your interest, try to make the most of it and not frown upon any task. An employer is definitely going to be looking for someone who does their job without a hassle or complaint.

Leave the financial talk for a little later into the interview. Wait until the discussion is flowing easily and you feel like you’re in a good spot with your interviewer. Doing this will give you a better chance of negotiating your pay, or even just being granted a good starting rate. You do want to make sure that you do some research on what your salary should be, however. Don’t let yourself get cheated out of what you really should be making.

Before you depart, make sure to thank your interviewer for their consideration and taking the time out of their day to be there. This will reflect nicely on your character, leaving them in a better mood for when they go through the selection process.

After the interview:

While it may be tempting, don’t talk about your interview on social media. You don’t want to risk saying the wrong thing and getting yourself thrown from the consideration process, even if the interview didn’t go amazingly. It’s best to just stay quiet and hope for the best.

If you think your interview may have been a complete and utter fail, that’s okay. Not everything is going to go perfect, just learn from your experiences and try to make things better for the next time. Even send in a thank you letter, no matter how poorly it may have gone. This will remind your potential employer of how appreciative you are for their consideration.

Hopefully this guide helps relieve some of the stress you feel about your interview. Don’t overthink it, just go in and give it your all. Good luck!