Many people feel that the interview is the single most stressful part of the job search process. Any number of things can go wrong, and a big part of being successful is avoiding simple mistakes. There are many student job interview mistakes. Things to avoid:
Trying to Wing the Interview
Practice! Get a list of general interview questions, a friend, a tape recorder, and a mirror and conduct an interview rehearsal. Practice until your delivery feels comfortable, but not canned.
Be yourself and be honest! Don’t pretend to understand a question or train of thought if you don’t. The interviewer will pick up on this. If you don’t know an answer, say so. Relax and be yourself. Remember you’re interviewing the company as well.
Focus on the question that is being asked and don’t try to anticipate the next one. It’s OK to pause and collect your thoughts before answering a question. Pay special attention to technical or work process related subjects that are unique to a given firm or organization. The interviewer may have provided information you will need to answer the question earlier in the conversation. Employers will be looking for your ability to assimilate new information, retain it, and, most importantly, recognize that information as useful to you later in the interview. Not listening is one of the student job interview mistakes that can be avoided.
When answering case questions, technical questions or solving technical problems, take the time to “talk through” your thought process. Recruiters are much more interested in seeing how your mind works and how it attacks a given type of problem, than the answer itself. Articulate your problem solving process and verbalize your thinking.
Maintain eye contact, greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake (not too weak, not too strong), and show common courtesy. Don’t be afraid to display your passion for the job/industry and to show confidence.
Student Job Interview Mistakes
You know you can do the job and make sure the interviewer believes you can, too. One way to do this is by preparing well-thought-out answers to questions they’re most likely to ask.