In a previous article, we discussed the importance of having a meaningful summer
. We explored numerous options, one of which was to secure a summer job that can offer you worthwhile experience for your college life and career (and of course, a little pocket money to go towards savings for college).
The majority of these opportunities will require you to pass some sort of interview / assessment process and these can be extremely daunting, especially for first-timers. That's why we've created this list of five (5) surefire ways to ensure you're acing your summer job interview.
RESEARCH THE ORGANIZATION
It seems like almost every article we write, we tell you guys to do some research. But that goes to show JUST how IMPORTANT research is before approaching any new endeavour... including summer jobs.
Be sure to come to the interview already armed with some information about the organization. Good things to note are the organization's mission and vision statements and its recent activities. This will demonstrate to your interviewer that you are able to take initiative and that you have a genuine interest in being part of the organization.
Researching the organization prior to the interview also helps you to ask great questions when that time comes. Almost all interviews end in asking if you (the interviewee) have any questions for your interviewer. Another quick tip? NEVER say no! Always have a question or two about the organization prepared beforehand, in the event that no other question pops into your head as the interview proceeds.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make going into a job interview is going in blind about the job that you will be fulfilling.
While you're researching the organization, pay close attention to how the role you're filling contributes to its daily operations and the meeting of its goals. Usually there is a job description available on the job listing, but if there is none, take to Google and search job descriptions for the advertised role in the listing.
After you are clear on WHAT you will be asked to do, should you land the job, figure out answers to HOW you will best do it and WHY you are doing it. These are common follow up questions in an interview setting, so it's important to think about beforehand.
Dressing appropriately for an interview is very subjective and is varied based on the organization's culture (again, this is why doing research beforehand is SO IMPORTANT).
Whereas a business casual dress code would be appropriate in one space, another space might require you to be fully donned in professional attire. Be sure to get a feel of the organisation's culture and expectations before you get to the interview in order to ensure you're looking your best for your interview.
If an organization appears to follow super corporate guidelines and branding (for eg. everyone on their website / social media page is dressed in suits) then you definitely want to show up to the interview in similar garb.
If the organization seems more casual with polo shirts and jeans, then you can definitely relax your attire a bit, but remember that you're still trying to IMPRESS here.
These rules apply for VIRTUAL INTERVIEWS as well! You may not need to wear intervew-ready pants, but ensure that your top half is "appropriate" for the occasion.
Punctuality is of paramount importance in the job interview process, and in the professional working world as well. Arriving an hour early to your interview is a bit overkill and might give an impression of desperation or over-eagerness which can work against you. A safe fifteen to twenty minutes prior to your slated start time is the recommended arrival time for any interview. This gives you time to settle down, take in your environment and complete any forms that they might ask you to fill out.
We also recommend that you arrive early for virtual interviews. If your Zoom / Skype interview starts at 1PM? Be in the virtual waiting room by the latest 12:50PM.
You want to show the interviewer that you value punctuality as well as a respect for their time and yours. Showing up to an interviewing space before your interviewer is a great way to really impress.
Above all, ensure you are presenting the best version of yourself to your interviewer. Being authentically you, in the context of your professional self, is what will win your interviewer over. Lean into your strengths, employ your wit and charm and just put your best self (not just the foot) forward!
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