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The art of the job interview (hint: be yourself)

Student Life

By Nicole Noseworthy

Students often find themselves in situations where they are required to present themselves professionally, such as going to an interview.

If it’s for your first job after graduation, it can be especially uncomfortable.

Nicole Noseworthy
Nicole Noseworthy during one of her work terms in St. John’s.
Photo: Submitted

When it comes to presenting yourself in a professional manner, there are many things to consider. You want to put your best foot forward without losing your personality.

Sometimes, you can get so caught up in how you should present yourself that you can lose yourself in the process. It’s important to showcase the best of you.

Be yourself

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be yourself. Interviewers and employers want to see your true personality — after all, you will be spending a lot of time with them if you get the job.

“There is usually no right answer; what one employer may be looking for could be totally opposite from another.”

Answer questions honestly in a way that reflects your best self. There is usually no right answer; what one employer may be looking for could be totally opposite from another.

Being yourself will ensure they get what they’re looking for and you will fit in nicely.

Show off

There are very few times in your life where you will be given full attention to just talk about everything great about yourself — interviews are one of those times (first dates are another).

If you’ve accomplished something in school or professionally that you’re proud of, put it on your resumé and talk about it! It will impress interviewers and give you an edge that your competition may not have.

Trust me: they want to know all the great things about you because they want to hire hard working, accomplished people.

Don’t fake it

If you didn’t do it, or can’t do it, don’t pretend.

If a job description outlines certain qualifications needed for a job, don’t stick them on your resumé or talk about it like you’re a pro if it’s something you’ve never encountered.

“At the entry level, there will be very few people who can tick off every box under a job description, so apply anyway.”

If it’s not on your resumé but they interview you anyway, chances are they saw something else they liked and will be willing to work with you on anything you’re missing.

If you fake it, however, and land the job, they’ll pretty quickly realize that you don’t possess the skills you pretended to have, which is embarrassing and frustrating for everyone.

At the entry level, there will be very few people who can tick off every box under a job description, so apply anyway. It won’t hurt.

Exude confidence

Eye contact, a smile and a good handshake go a long way in interviews. Don’t forget to be confident.

Even if you don’t feel confident, tell yourself you can do it and you’ll start to believe it.

Listen to music that will get you feeling good beforehand, and make sure you get some sleep the night before an interview so you don’t yawn every time they ask you a question.

And — good luck!


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