Welcome back everyone! Start of a new school year means the start of new grad school apps, internship opportunities, and everything else.
We’ve done quite a bit on dressing for the job search, and it can’t be stressed enough: You have to look the part. A good rule of thumb is to dress one “grade” above what you expect to wear everyday on the job. Generally that means Business Professional. That doesn’t mean you have to look like you’re going to a funeral, though. Put a little bit of you into it. You should feel good in what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter how professional you look in a pencil skirt and heels if you can’t walk. Here are ideas for women and men.
Know about the employer
You should always go in to any kind of interview knowing something about the company that makes you want to work for them. They may not ask specifically what you know about the company, but a lot of employers will ask “Why do you want to work for us?”. You should have a few tidbits that show that you’ve done your research, and that you understand what it means. For example, if I’m looking to work in Human Services in Duluth, I need to know about the Duluth Model and that most of them work together.
Story Time: I interviewed this summer for a job that I unfortunately didn’t get. I did get to talk with the Director of the organization for a bit, though. And when she ended the call, she told me how much she appreciated me knowing about what the company has done. This was something that apparently didn’t happen too often.
You also need to go into an interview knowing about yourself. Know how to condense your history into a few seconds to get them interested in you as a person. The age old “tell me about yourself” is a perfect way for you to stand out. Don’t waste it. Talk about the experiences that you’ve had that are unique and have helped you be ready for this job. If you have an interesting hobby that won’t take long to describe, go ahead and throw that in there. Let yourself relax and show them the real you.
Ask the right questions
Often, an employer will end the interview with “Do you have any questions for us?”. Always have questions ready to ask them. This is a great way to show that you really do care about this position. If there are some questions from the interview that piqued your interest, go ahead and delve in. “What were you referring to when….”Ask about the office culture. This is not just for show; you want to know if you’ll fit in well there. So do they. It doesn’t hurt to have a list of a few questions about the company overall that you can ask if nothing comes up in the interview. We’ve also written a whole post about this.
Good luck in all your interviews! You can always come down to Career and Internship Services if you want advice, to practice, or to polish up your resume.