While student employment rates have dipped slightly over the past few years, splitting time between a job and studies is still fairly common for most college students.
Many students participate in work study and internship programs while in school to gain valuable experience and on-the-job training.
Given the many advantages that employment can offer to those enrolled in university, possessing solid interviews skills can prove to be very helpful.
Wear an outfit that would be appropriate for the work environment, erring on the too formal side. Show up early for the interview, and if for some unforeseeable reason you need to delay or reschedule — such as due to illness or your car breaking down — let the interviewer know as soon as possible.
Companies routinely evaluate hiring candidates on the level of enthusiasm and interest they show during interviews. Be prepared to ask questions about the position and the organization. Ask the interviewer about the company’s culture and why they personally enjoy working there. A little curiosity can go a long way in communicating your interest in the available position.
If your interview is a virtual one, you want to spare yourself (and the interviewer) any technical headaches and hiccups, so make sure you arrive at your computer early too. Do a thorough check of your speakers, camera, and don’t forget to ensure the distance to the camera and angle (eye-level) are fine.
Whether you interview in-person or not, you need to do your research. Most companies have a website with plenty of background information about the founders, company history, company mission statement, and so on. Try to figure out where you would fit into the company and what skills you should highlight.
Even if you snagged the job interview via your LinkedIn profile, bring a hard copy of your resume, just in case someone asks for it. Make sure it is up-to-date, polished, and easy to read. If no one asks for it, ask the interviewer if they would like a copy of it at the end of the interview.
Interviewers typically ask you about your personal strengths and weaknesses. Spend some time before the interview identifying three or four for each category. To highlight your skills and capabilities, think of an example or personal anecdote for each that demonstrates how you embody these traits. If you don’t have a work history to draw from, rely on incidents from your academic career.