We conducted 6 interviews for a marketing internship position in my department this week. I know that since it’s an entry level position, the candidates were not seasoned interview professionals, so I shouldn’t set my expectations too high. But seriously? Is anyone being taught how to write a professional resume or even how to have a successful interview? I know I went through career prep exercises in both high school and college, but I’m thinking you don’t really understand the value of this practice until you actually try to enter the “real world.” It probably takes a few doses of rejection for new grads to realize that they need to get some feedback and take the whole process more seriously.
I would really like to be able to give feedback to the people I met this week, but I don’t know how to do it without it seeming rude. Instead, I am going to blog about it in hopes that I can help anyone who reads this. So here are some things you should not do in an interview:
- Don’t wear a short party dress and 5 inch heels
- Don’t ramble
- Don’t come off as uninterested
- Don’t tell me you don’t have any questions
- Don’t submit a resume with spelling or grammatical errors
You should definitely dress to impress, but remember who you are trying to impress. Think conservative, clean, and professional. Dress appropriately for the position for which you are applying. Remember you are in a business environment, not a night club.
It is understood that you are nervous, but be conscious of what comes out of your mouth. Sometimes what you think is an expression of enthusiasm and passion can come off as an overwhelming spout of TMI for the person sitting across from you.
There is a difference between being confident and appearing completely unenthused. It is possible to be excited and enthusiastic while maintaining composure and not looking like you’re trying too hard, but boring is unimpressive.
My company develops highly complex biometric technologies, and you don’t have anything to ask? It’s very important to ask your own questions because you are interviewing the company and your potential coworkers as well. Not doing so shows that either you didn’t do your research, or you don’t really care.
If you even get an interview, errors on a resume start you off with diminished credibility right from the get-go, especially if the person hiring is a grammar nut like me. It shows that you are not thorough in your work, and depending on how atrocious the mistakes are, it may even discount your intelligence.
Those were the biggies. Being on the hiring end of the interview process has been eye-opening for me. I hope that these suggestions help someone; even if it’s just one person, I would feel like I’ve done my part. With unemployment rates like we have now, the competition is fierce, and you just can’t afford to make simple, yet major, mistakes like these.