What the Tour Guide Didn't Tell You About...Interviews for Summer Internships and The First Job

{How to Ace an Interview} Advice from a Graduating Senior + The CDC

Weather it's applying for an RA position, a summer internship or even a real job after graduation, it's about that time of the year for interviews. One of the benefits of going to a small school is the amount of resources that are available, including the CDC or Career Development Center. Seeing that I have had three interviews in the last week (and was rehired again to work this summer, so I guess I didn't completely mess up last year) I figured writing about this would hopefully be useful to someone. 
I also included some of my favorite interview outfits. Obviously it completely depends on where you're working, but these outfits are professional with a bit of personality (I love the hot pink heels!). 

I really hope that you never have to work for a Miranda Priestly...
I order to get the scoop from an expert, I met with the lovely Megan Wolleben. Working in the Career Development Center at a school with 98% job placement after graduation, I figured she would have some great advice, and I was right. 

What are some of your biggest interview "do's?"

Prepare as much as you possibly can. A lot of students think "my resume is in- I'm ready" before going, In addition, doing a mock interview is really helpful. Also check out glassdoor.com where people will post some of the questions based on companies and general interview questions. Make sure that you are able to ask them questions which show a genuine interest in the company or program. Also realize that the people giving the interview understand that you're nervous and want to get to know you. Lastly, handwritten notes go a long way because they are personal and show a little more effort than an email. 

What are some of your biggest "don'ts?"
Besides the obvious of "don't be late," do not have a bad handshake. A flimsy handshake is terrible and can leave a lasting impression. Make sure to turn your phone off and don't be afraid of eye contact- it can be really powerful. 

What would you recommend wearing on an interview?

Go very conservative in an interview, do your research on the company. Mostly for guys you can't go wrong with a suit. For girls, make sure there it's nothing too short (about two inches above the knee), too low cut or distracting! 

Of course, I also wanted to get some advice from a graduating senior looking into the "real world," and got some great advice from the lovely Vicky!
Name: Vicky Kielty 
Class: Bucknell '14
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia (she has the most amazing accent!)
Bucknell Activities: Being a wise old senior on the Bucknell Rowing, a representative on the Bison Athletic Leadership Academy & a member of Delta Gamma
Where to find her on Campus: Hogging a booth at 7th Street, enjoying lunch in the Terrace Room & in KLARC using an erg room or on the river at practice

What would you say is the hardest part of interviewing? 
 The hardest part about interviewing, believe it or not, is actually getting the interview itself. The most challenging part of any job/internship seeking process is getting yourself off paper and into an office. This being said, once you actually get into the room with a scary looking and well dressed individual who has the potential to be your future boss, the nerves can start to rear their ugly heads. I have found that It is so important to take a breath and (pardon the cliche) BE YOURSELF. The person who selected your application out of the pile definitely liked something about what they saw on paper, you just have to make it come to life. You also applied to the position for a reason, and therefore have absolutely no reason to feel unprepared for the interview. You liked the look of the position, thought the company sounded cool and could definitely see yourself there for a summer/year/insert time period here.

Yes, it probably breaks the knee rule, but I couldn't resist

Overall, how do you prepare?
If I want to do some extra preparation for an interview, I will do some research on the company or organization as a whole. What do they do? Why do they do it? How old are they? Why do you like them? It really helps if you are comfortable discussing the company and their achievements. It shows that you were interested enough to do some extra homework and that you cared about their cause(s).

What's you number one piece for anyone going into an interview?
As far as my #1 piece of advice for interviewing goes, I'm going to deviate from the tried-and-tested 'be yourself' because, while it is absolutely valid and very true, we've all heard it more times than we can count. Things get a little redundant when you hear them that often. Therefore, my piece of advice is to treat the interview as a NORMAL conversation. You are talking to a mentor figure about what you would like to do in their organization and explaining to them why you would be a valuable asset to their team. It's very simple! Oh, and for goodness sake, smile. No one wants to hire a Debbie Downer.

Happy Thursday! Thank you so much to Vicky and Megan for all of your advice! If you have an interview coming up, good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!
{Images one//two//three//four}

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