Valley’s Guide to Interview Etiquette

Kylin_InterviewEtiquetteIt’s that time of year again: summer internship season. Even with the most impressive resume, the way you present yourself during your interview can make or break your chance at being offered your dream position. Here are a few tips to make sure that you leave your interview with a job offer.

Do your research.

Before you even arrive at the interview, research everything you can about the company and the position. By doing so, you will appear educated when both responding to and asking questions.

Dress the part.

When the day of the interview arrives, make sure you dress to impress. The first impression you give to your potential employer is very powerful. Always dress in business professional. When in doubt, lean towards a more conservative look.

Arrive early.

Plan to arrive to your interview at least 20 minutes early. This gives you enough time to allow for traffic jams or any other unexpected situations.

Confidence is everything.

Make sure that you present yourself as confidently as possible. Sit up straight and maintain good posture throughout the entire meeting. Firmly shake the employers hand and maintain strong eye contact. Answer all questions confidentially, even if you don’t think you have the best answer. A weak answer that is conveyed with confidence is more effective than a weak answer that is timid.

Ask questions!

When the interviewer is done questioning you, be sure to have at least two or three questions prepared to ask them. Ask about their specific role in the company and why they choose to stay, or anything that you couldn’t find out in your research.

But avoid asking about money.

Never ask about salary until after you have been offered a position. Asking before shows the employer that you are only concerned about money, and not about passion for the company or product.

Remember the basics.

Pay attention to the little things like spitting out your gum and turning off your cell phone completely before entering the room.

Jen Morgenstern, Vice President for Member Development for PanHellenic, has a lot of experience acting as the interviewer. She says some of the main things she looks for in an interview are eye contact and overall presentation, “How you are sitting, whether you’re sitting straight up or slouching. How thoroughly and thoughtfully questions are answered is important as well.”

There you have it! Be on time, prepared and confident and that interview will be a breeze.

Photo by Kylin Chen