The process of applying to jobs and internships is very daunting. After all of the time you spent editing your resume and cover letter over and over again, you get a call saying you’ve been called in for an interview. The feeling of being on top of the world sets in and lasts for a little while before you realized you’ve only fought half the battle.
Your world comes crashing down, but don’t fret–this is the part where you can make a difference. This is the opportunity to show your future employer what makes you great and even more spectacular than you seem on paper. Here are some tips to place you on the winning side after the interview:
1. Do your research and stay up-to-date on current events
Nothing is worse than getting the question “So why did you apply to this company?” and having your mind just freeze. Whether it is the company, their clientele, or anything in between, there had to be a specific reason, something unique, as to why you applied for a position there. Make sure to check out resources on the company’s website or social media accounts so you are prepared for this question. Also, since the PR world revolves around current events, make sure you know the top stories of the day. My personal favourite news source is theSkimm, a newsletter that sends out emails daily around 7 AM, that gives information on the top stories from the previous day. The main thing is to try to read material on current events from places other than your Twitter newsfeed.
2. Dress confident, feel confident
The popular saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has truth to it, but would you choose a ratty book over a brand new one with the same material? Exactly. First impressions are everything and they can only be made once so it’s important to do everything you can in order to make a positive mark. Invest in a nice blazer and a pair of dress pants to show the interviewer that you are serious about the position. Also, when you look great, you feel great. Before strutting into the interview, make one final outfit check and listen to some upbeat music (no song gets one more pumped up for a battle than Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”).
3. Don’t be afraid to have the final say
After confidently answering the interviewer’s questions, it’s time for the tables to turn and leave a lasting impression. It is important to show the interviewer that you have been listening to him while he’s been questioning you. Now is the time to ask questions about research that you did prior to the interview on the company’s goals and clientele. Ask questions pertaining to specific campaigns that the company has conducted as well as how each team is set up. Another popular question to ask the interviewer is to ask him or her the atmosphere and culture of the company. If you are hired, it is important to know how the office works so you know if you can envision yourself in that environment.
After the interview, make sure you thank the interviewer for taking the time out of his or her day to talk to you. Also make sure to send a follow-up email a few days later, saying thanks again. Try to find something new to add that refers to a topic you discussed in the interview. With these tips and a positive attitude, you will be able to take on any interview with ease.