Although every interviewer is looking for something specific in a potential employee or intern, there are a few behaviors almost every interviewer hates. Avoid these interview pet peeves and you’ll be more likely to land your dream job or internship:
1. Showing up late
Showing up to an interview late instantly makes a bad first impression, which could cost you the job. So plan ahead by leaving home early and getting directions ahead of time.
2. Not making eye contact
Eye contact is one of the best ways to show you’re listening and interested in what the interviewer has to say. Although it might be tempting to look away when nervous, the best way to keep your eyes on the prize is to keep your eyes…on the interviewer.
3. Not doing your research
Every company has a ton of info on their website. Browse through it so you have a basic understanding of what it is the company does. This shows you’re proactive and engaged.
4. Not asking questions
Interviewers want to see that you’re excited and interested in their company. Come prepared with questions. Then develop a few more based on what your interviewer tells you about the company and the position they’re hiring for. Ask questions that pertain to business operations as well as your potential responsibilities.
5. Dressing inappropriately
You can never arrive to an interview dressed too professionally. In other words, it’s always better to show up overdressed than under-dressed. For guidance on what not to wear to an interview, click here.
6. Avoiding a question
If an interviewer asks a tough question and you don’t have an answer right away, don’t ramble about something off-topic. Instead,, take a second to think about it (not too long) before answering the question in the most direct, concise manner possible.
7. A weak handshake.
A firm handshake is key to showing your interviewer that you’re confident and strong-minded.
Along with verbal skills, experience, and practice, appearance and attire affect how you’re perceived during a job interview. That’s why you should do your best to show up looking as professional as possible. In other words, here’s what not to wear to an interview:
Even if you’ve got a decent pair of khaki shorts, you don’t want to show your legs at an interview. Play it safe a arrive in a nice pair of slacks.
2. White socks.
Leave your athletic socks at home and pick up a pair of navy blue or black socks that reach up the calf. You’re not planning on wearing athletic shoes to your interview, so why would you wear athletic socks?
3. Un-tucked shirt.
Tuck it in! Simple as that.
1. Short skirts.
If you plan on wearing a skirt to your interview, make sure it’s an appropriate length. As a rule of thumb, your skirt should not show your thighs while seated.
2. Too much makeup/jewelry.
Makeup and jewelry can help you look your best, but layering too much on can make you look more like a flashy pop diva than a job applicant.
3. Open-toed shoes.
Many offices have policies against open toed shoes. Rule of thumb: make sure your toes are covered when dressing for your interview.
1. Anything on your head.
Even if you had a bad hair day, your head should never be covered at an interview. This includes everything from hats to sunglasses rested on the head, which are easy to forget about.
2. Strong smelling fragrances.
Take it easy on the perfume or cologne. Although it’s important to smell good, too strong of a scent might distract your interviewer.
Leave your jeans or colored pants at home. Khakis, slacks, or skirts/dresses are the way to go.
Remember – you have 7 seconds to make a good first impression, so make every second count! You want your interviewer to focus on your smile, good handshake, and amazing personality – not your poor fashion choices.
Getting educated is hard work. Unfortunately paying for it is even harder. That’s why summer is a good time to replenish your bank account. And yes, we know it’s only March. But planning ahead is the best way to secure summer employment. Here are tips to help:
1. Apply early.
There’s one mantra to remember when looking for a summer job: the earlier you apply, the better. Most students are looking for summer jobs and there may not be enough for everyone.
2. Take advantage of the seasonal hiring surge.
Many restaurants, resorts, camps, and parks need students for temporary summer positions. Take advantage of that hiring surge by applying at these places first.
3. Know where else to look.
Summer means lots of people are leaving on vacation, which means there may be a lot of part-time or temporary work available. Check with libraries, banks, and your own college campus for opportunities.
Tell people you’re actively looking for work, whether that’s your parents, your parents’ friends, your professors, guidance counselors, or any other adult in your life. They may know of availabilities. And better yet, they may serve as a reference, which is especially important if you haven’t had a job before.
5. Practice interviews ahead of time.
Interviews can be stressful. That’s why you should practice ahead of time. Have your parents or friends ask you questions while you answer them on the fly. Also consider asking a teacher or guidance counselor to help if you’re looking for more realistic preparation. Check out this blog post to learn how to ace odd interview questions you might be asked!
Good luck and happy searching!
Winter break is here, or almost here, the holidays are upon us, and the start of a new year is right around the corner. So much to celebrate! But remember: if you don’t have all the money you need for next semester’s tuition bill, now’s the perfect time to find it. Here’s how:
1. Compare your private student loan options. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it a million times. Lending rates and benefits change, so comparing your loan options every semester could save you thousands. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s free.
2. Keep searching for scholarships. They’re available year-round. Now that you don’t have class to worry about, start worrying about your wallet and how to fill it with free money. Hit up your school’s financial aid office and our Scholarship Center.
3. Find seasonal work. Take advantage of the festive spirit by earning a little festive cash. Retail outlets hire tons of temporary workers for the holidays. Likewise, ice-skating rinks, ski resorts, and restaurants may pick up extra folks for the holiday season.
4. Apply for part-time jobs on campus. There’s usually job turnover at the end of each semester, so get your applications in before next semester starts. Try the library, the cafeteria, and even department offices, which may need assistants.
Graduation is pretty awesome, as it signals your transition from college life to the real world. Of course that’s a little scary too, as it also means you’re entering the full-time work force (cue standard horror movie music). But before you start singing the blues, and before you bang your head against the wall at your job for grown-ups, consider taking a few steps to help you adjust:
- Get to bed earlier. The older you get, the less resilient your body becomes. In the years after college, you may find it more and more difficult to stay up late and still get to work on time. In other words, bedtime is going to start coming earlier than you’re used to. With that in mind, listen to your body and get to bed at a reasonable hour. You don’t have to stay awake for the sake of staying awake, and you’ll just be in a straight-up bad mood in the morning if you do. Don’t start your day off on the wrong foot, as it will only wreak havoc on your relationship with your new job.
- Take a lunch break. The nice thing about a 9-5 is that everyone gets a lunch break, so take advantage of it. Stretch out and get on your feet. When you can, get out of the office and walk around a bit. It’ll split up your day into chunks and make it much more tolerable.
- Get to work early. Believe it or not, but getting to the office a little early can reduce workplace pressure. Not only do you have extra time to get stuff finished, you’ll also have time to relax a little before you dive head first into your work. Get in, have coffee, check your email, browse the Internet for a few minutes, whatever—it’s a stress-free way to start the day a little slower.
- Have fun on the weekends. Hopefully you’re working a job where you don’t have to bring too much work home, which, unlike college, means no homework. Of course, that means you have weekends free, so why not celebrate? Kick back and relax, go out with friends, do whatever you do (within reason) to have a good time. That way, you’ll start to think of your job as something you need to support your social life.
- Keep calm and carry on. There’s just nothing more powerful than positive thinking, so put on a good face and do the best work you can.