A Survival Guide To Interviewing

By Danica Tamura


“Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it.” -Monica Geller

Ah yes, the real world, where adulting and jobs and rent exist.  As I near the end of my academic career, I have slowly come to terms with the fact that I will be tackling the real world soon.  Perhaps the most intimidating part of this new chapter in life is what I like to call “getting a big girl job.” 

As someone who has had a job since I was sixteen, jobs are not the daunting part of becoming a full on adult.  I just really hate interviews as I’m sure most others do as well. The introvert in me agonizes at the thought of interviews.  Over the years, however, I have acquired a solid understanding of what to do and what not to do when it comes to the interview process.


Dress to Impress

It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. If you happen to overdress, you will still look great and there’s nothing wrong with that!  Wear something you feel confident in, this confidence will translate into your overall attitude going into the interview.

Show Up Early

Give yourself ample time to arrive before your interview time.  There is nothing worse than showing up late for an interview - this casts a bad impression before even meeting your interviewer!

Bring a Copy (or two) of Your Resume/Portfolio

Do not rely on your email or electronics to cover you not bringing a resume.  Always bring extra physical copies to your interview in case someone else happens to step in on your interview.  A physical copy is easier to look at and saves time on pulling up your resume from email archives. For our creatives out there, bring (if possible) physical examples of your portfolio for your interviewer to see firsthand. 

Do Your Research

Always come prepared for any questions that may be thrown your way. Research the company you’re interviewing with beforehand to get an idea of their culture and values so you can provide more thoughtful answers when interviewing.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout your interview! This shows your interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the position you are interviewing for. Asking insightful questions may help you stand out as well. You will never be penalized for wanting to know more!


Come Unprepared

Rehearse potential questions and answers with someone before your interview so you have a general idea of what you can say and not seem flustered.  Always prepare some questions to ask at the end of your interview that will show that you are interested and engaged with the position you’re interviewing for.

Oversell Yourself

When interviewing, you are always putting your best foot forward. However, don’t oversell yourself. In other words, don’t tell your interviewer you are capable of things you are not. So if you’ve used Facetune before, do not tell your interviewer you are proficient in photo editing software.

Give Cliche Answers

Obviously there are answers to certain questions that you know sound good. But no one wants to hear that your one character flaw is that you are a perfectionist. To land the job at hand, you want to stand out in any way you can.  Giving cliche answers is a one-way ticket to the subconscious of your interviewer’s mind. Stay original and true to yourself! There is always something you can bring to the table that others can’t.

Sadly, I don’t have a solution to get rid of the nerves before entering an interview. The best advice I can give you is all right in this post. Just be confident in yourself and what you can offer to a company, and the right job will come to you. You got this!

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