Interviews & Resumes

Job Interview Tips

How can you make sure to leave a good impression? All it takes is a basic knowledge of interview etiquette!

You’ve heard this your whole life: “First impressions are everything.” Well, guess what? You’re going to hear it again, and probably again at some point in the future! First impressions really are everything. When interviewing for a job or scholarship opportunity, you have one chance to show the interviewer you’re the best pick out of all the others. How can you make sure to leave a good impression? All it takes is a basic knowledge of interview etiquette! 

Arrive early. Remember that whole “first impressions” thing? Bursting through the door at exactly the time your interview was scheduled (or a few minutes later!) is not a good way to start off. Show up ten or fifteen minutes early- you’ll feel less rushed, and you’ll show the interviewer that you’re serious about the opportunity. 

Bring a copy of your resume. Even if you’ve already submitted it, bringing extra copies shows that you’re prepared. You might want to bring along a list of additional references, too, just in case the interviewer asks for them. 

Turn off your phone. Especially if your ringtone is the Kim Possible theme song. Not only will having your phone ring during the middle of an interview come off as unprofessional, but it will also make you lose your focus and could potentially throw you off your game. 

Ask questions. Most of the interview will consist of you answering questions, but you should also ask the interviewer some questions of your own. This shows that you’re genuinely interested in the position or opportunity.  

Follow up. This step is usually forgotten, but it’s so important! Sending a quick thank-you email to your interviewer goes a long way- it leaves a very good impression. Even if you aren’t chosen for the position you’re currently applying for, you may have a better chance of working with the organization in the future. If they see your name come across their desk again, they’ll likely remember your gratitude.  

Dress for Success 

We’ve got another old saying for you: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Your dress and grooming are essential in making a good impression during an interview. Here are a few dos and don’ts: 

Do: 

Keep things reasonably modest. You don’t have to dress like your grandma, but a job interview isn’t the time or place to show off a lot of skin. Save your ripped jeans for that concert next month! 

Take it easy on the accessories. Keep the focus on you- not your bedazzled watch or your collection of flashy rings. 

Wear something you feel good in! Make sure whatever you’re wearing is comfortable, and make sure you feel confident in it. That confidence can make or break the interview. 

Don’t: 

Skimp on the footwear. Your trusty beach flip-flops probably aren’t the best option for a professional environment. 

Overdo it on the perfume or cologne. There’s a fine line between smelling nice and smelling like you were dunked in a pool of roses or pine trees. Find that line. 

Go the “athleisure” route. Yoga pants? No. Gym shorts? No. Just no.

As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

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