This blog was written by Korrie Olszewski, campus ambassador from SUNY Cortland.
So I have always wanted to write a blog about interviewing for the dream job, however- I have never interviewed for the dream job. NOW I can finally write about in all of its terrifying glory: What I expected, what I didn’t expect, what I would have done differently, and what I wore.
I had my first interview with a big company in Manhattan over my Spring Break. I got the interview through an alumni from my college whom I had got in touch with on linked in. Number one advice, Use every connection that you have, and don’t be afraid to tell everyone you meet that you are looking for a job, and you what field your in. Jump at every opportunity and always have your eyes and ears open.
I strongly feel that getting a job comes down to your interview skills and who you know. How do you develop good interview skills? Keep interviewing! During my interview I was asked the questions: Where do you want to be in five years, and what salary do you want? Salary is a tough question; make sure you are prepared to answer it. Don’t bring up salary on the first interview unless you are asked. Make sure you give good examples and details to show how you got experience and not just tell.
Be real. It’s difficult not to be nervous an interview and everything can feel a little overly done to the point of fake. (“Oh no did I just laugh too hard? Am I talking too much? Am I smiling too much?”) Just be real. If you are a nervous person, try to imagine someone you admire and want to be like, maybe the person interviewing you, and try to impersonate his or her calm cool attitude.
A lot of the time, they way you look reflects the way you feel. If your feeling like a mess, chances are you look like a mess. If you’re feeling put together, you will feel more confident. My advice is to get ready with someone. Pick the person carefully; someone you admire, who gives good advice and is not nervous.
If it were your first time picking out interview clothes, I would recommend going shopping with someone older and experienced in the professional world. Always over dress for an interview. It’s best to wear a business suit. My favorite dress suits are from Express. They are super comfortable, fresh, and form fitting. They also offer a lot of coupons so look out for those 60% off ones they occasionally send out. Carry a professional looking bag with: A pad folio, gum, water bottle, cough drops, tissues, extra pens and pencils, lip stuff/chap stic
Carry a pad folio to put your resume in; you can get them at Stamples or Walmart. Inside you should have copies of 5-10 copies of your resume, depending on how big the organization is. Make sure your resume is printed on resume paper. Have business cards made, there is a little spot in most pad folios for them. You can make them for free online on vistaprint.com. If you’re a Communication major of some sort and wondering what to put under your name on the cards, you can put Communications Professional, because you are one.
Make sure your nails are painted with a fresh coat of clear or a light colored polish. Chipped nail polish is very unprofessional! And OBVIOUSLY turn your phone on silent or off! I think if “Call me maybe” went off during my interview I would have been asked to leave.
Most importantly, know the company. On my interview, I was expected to do most of the asking and talking. I was also expected to know everything about the company that I possibly could. You don’t want to get into a situation or an interview like this where if you didn’t do your research, the interview wouldn’t last long. This includes having tons of questions prepared; make sure the questions aren’t anything that could have been answered by researching the company.
Make sure you eat a good breakfast to keep from low blood sugar grogginess. You may not think it is but this is HIGHLY important. Research shows that blood sugar levels are lowest in the morning. If you put off eating you could go into the interview with a low blood sugar which causes you an inability to focus, not at your peak memory, sweating more then usual and not peak brain functioning.