Surviving Your First Interview
Everyone in the world goes through their first interview at some point, and getting ready for it is stressful. I recently had my first interview for a summer internship and I know how difficult it is when you have no idea what to expect. Here are a few tips that might help take away some of those first interview jitters.
Tip 1: Breathe. The best thing to do is stay calm and just be you! It’s easier said than done of course, but the interviewer will want to see a person that they feel they and the other employees can work well with.
Tip 2: Don’t stress over what is or isn’t on your resume. As a freshman, I knew I had next to nothing on my resume, not even high level PR classes, but if you’ve got an interview they’re already interested in you! Chances are you had to submit a cover letter and resume that they’ve already looked over, so they’re fully aware of any lack of experience and are okay with it.
Tip 3: Know your strengths and weaknesses. People get skills from all sorts of experiences that you can’t put on a resume. Maybe you’re great at working with a team because you’ve always played team sports. Maybe you’re very organized and you have great time management skills. Those are all valuable skills that employers like to see. It’s also okay to acknowledge that you don’t have much concrete experience yet but that you’re willing to learn. That will show your interviewer that you’ll be easy to work with and willing to learn from those around you.
Tip 4: Give yourself extra time for a pep talk right before your interview. I’m not lying when I say that before my first interview I stepped into the building’s bathroom and gave myself a little pep talk in the mirror. Whether it’s an actual pep talk or just some deep breaths to yourself, it’s good to calm yourself down and get grounded. I know it’s way to easy for me to get sucked up into my own nerves.
Tip 5: Smile! Smiling gives off a great natural expression and can actually help calm you down. Remember how happy you are to have gotten the interview and focus on the positive. They already like you, so be glad for it!
Unfortunately there’s no secret to nailing an interview and getting the job or the internship, but these little tips can help make it a better experience for you. Keep up your attitude and remember why you love what you do. Interviews are a really great sign when you apply for a job, so even if it doesn’t work out you can be proud that they were interested.