It’s that time of year: summer job and internship interview season. The pressure is on to dazzle your possible future boss with glowing facts about yourself. But is that all it takes to get the job? No!
I may be only 21 years old, but because I’m paying for college myself, I’ve had a lot of jobs. And that means I’ve been through a lot of job interviews—and unfortunately, made my share of mistakes along the way.
I knew some best practices, like dressing my best and avoiding poor body language, as I’m sure you do too. But here are three mistakes I didn’t know about until someone showed me the right things to do. Read up, and let me be that person for you!
1. Not Knowing Anything About The Job
The first time I applied to an internship, I was a sophomore in high school. I didn't know much about the company besides a few facts a friend told me. When the interviewer asked, “Why do you want to work for us?” I didn’t really have an answer. It was NOT a good look and extremely awkward.
Making money was my motive, but I wasn’t going to say that—and it’s definitely not want companies want to hear. Look, it doesn't matter where you apply, always research the establishment. That way, when you hear “What made you interested in _____?” you’re equipped with a good answer.
For those applying to internships, I hope you are doing something you are genuinely interested in and want to learn about the place before interviewing. But even if you aren’t, show some initiative and dedication and study up! Treat the interview like an important exam, and give it your all.
2. Not Bringing A Hard-Copy Résumé
With this one, some may be like, “Why, I already applied? They have my résumé.” Yes, but taking it a step further will really demonstrate your professionalism. In most interviews, you don’t get much time to tell the interviewer how great you are. So, you need to do little things to show it too, like bringing in a hard-copy résumé (put it in a folder for extra “wow” factor).
My first boss taught me this little trick. I had applied to be an administrative assistant at my school, and she told me it looks much better when you come in with something to hand the employer (like your résumé). In a handful of my interviews, the companies have been very impressed with this and commented how most people, especially around my age, don’t do that.
3. Not Asking Any Questions
At the end of the interview, there is always that time where they ask, “Do you have any questions for me/us?” Don’t say no. I used to do that, then one employer responded, “Really? You don't have anything you’d like to know about us?”
He said it jokingly, but in that moment, I really wished that I had something to say. Now, I always make sure to come prepared with two or three questions for the employer. I usually ask what an average day may look like or what the interviewer’s favorite part about their job is.
Those are the job interview mistakes I no longer make. What about you? What are some other common interview mistakes you’ve run into? Sign up or log in with your Salt account to share them below!