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  1. 1. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleMAKING A LASTING IMPRESSIONON A JOB INTERVIEWA STUDENT GUIDE © Student Jobs International Inc.
  2. 2. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleMAKING A LASTING IMPRESSIONON A JOB INTERVIEWA STUDENT GUIDE Making a positive lasting impression on a job interview is essential. People often forget that you onlyget one chance to make a good first impression and it only takes a couple of seconds for a hiringmanager or recruiter to form an image of you in their mind. You essentially want to come off as someonewho is friendly, polite, positive and enthusiastic about the potential of working at the company ororganization. There are a few tips that every student should know when going on interviews for entry-level,part-time or summer jobs. Interviewers are trying to assess some basic information about you in orderto find out if you are the right fit for the job. Your answers, and behaviour, give them the clues that theyneed to determine how equipped you are. Making a great first impression on an interview is about morethan what you say –it also has a lot to do with how you act, particularly your body language, whichpeople often overlook when they’re nervous. Don’t worry if you are not spectacularly well-spoken, theproper preparation and gestures can leave an interviewer with a positive mental image of you and setyou apart from your competition. This guide will show you 10 ways through which you can research yourcompany of interest,5 tips to help you prepare before the job interview, several important tips for the dayof the interview and finally some clues about what your body language is saying about you. © Student Jobs International Inc.
  3. 3. studentjobs. Matching smart people Often people will assume that all they have to do for anALWAYS DO YOUR interview is to be on time and look nice. In today’s job market, employers and interviewers are expecting much more than that.HOMEWORK They expect you to know quite a bit about the company, whichBEFORE means putting in the time doing research. Knowledge about theAN INTERVIEW company, the requirements of the position and the industry are vital bits of information that can be of use to you on the interview. Your goal is to communicate that you know what you’re talking about to the interviewer, instead of giving them the feeling that you just walked in off the street.Knowing the company and industry well is something that will surely make you stand out from thecompetition. Research suggests that only about 20% of jobs are ever advertised for publically, which means that80% of the jobs out there are filled internally, most of the time through references made by otheremployees in the company. These statistics show that people who know people get more opportunitiesto interview and meet with key contacts than others who have no connections to the company andsimply send in a CV and cover letter. Many lucrative positions are filled before hiring mangers even getthe chance to place a job ad! According to Marketwire –a social communications firm headquartered inToronto –employees hired through referrals are hired 55% faster than those who are external candidatesand have no connection to the company. This proves that it certainly pays to know someone on theinside, either working for the company that you’re interested in or even working in the industry.10 ways that you can learn about a prospective company or organization: 1. Begin by searching the company on Google 2. Visit the company/organization’s corporate website 3. Read the company’s mission statement/find out about their business philosophy 4. Read through the company’s annual report 5. Look for any reviews, press releases or news releases on the company 6. Look up the organization onLinkedIn, find out about the people who work there 7. Go on an informational interview with someone working at the company 8. Carefully read through and analyse the job description, including the necessary qualifications and requirements of the position 9. Research the interviewer or hiring manager, get to know their background 10. Search through industry, trade and specialized publications for relevant information see next page © Student Jobs International Inc.
  4. 4. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleHOW TOPREPAREFOR THEINTERVIEW Make sure you have the skills and qualifications for the position It goes without saying that the employer is primarily trying to assess whether you have thenecessary skills to perform the job. To be sure, make sure to emphasize the skills, qualifications andpersonality traits that the employer mentioned in the job description. Also, make sure to highlight yourpersonal strengths and the soft skills that you’re the most proficient in. Make sure that you communicate why they should choose you It’s important to communicate to the interviewer the reasons why they should choose you overanother candidate. It’s fundamental to communicate how you would be an asset to the company. Beclear about what you’re career goals and objectives are for the futurebefore you arrive at the interview.If the organization fits well with your career aims and goals, and if you support their philosophy andmission, you will be a likely perfect fit for the company. Prepare answers to possible interview questions This is a crucial part of interview preparation. You need to be able to have well-constructed andthoughtful answers to some basic interview questions. You should also come to the interview beingready to answer questions related to the requirements of the role you are applying for. Begin byresearching some of the standard questions asked in an interview and write down your answers tothem. This will help you to be more relaxed on the day of the interview. Be prepared to discuss yourpast job experiences, your strengths and weaknesses, the challenges that you have had and how youresolved them, and what your most valuable learning experiences have been. It’s important to be ableto back-up the things that you say you can do on your CV. Remember to be specific and give exampleswhen describing your strengths, experiences and successes. Prepare your own list of questions for the interviewer Having your own questions to ask not only helps keep the flow of the conversation going, it alsoshows that you have really done your homework and are truly serious about the position. Prepare yourown list of questions regarding the particular job position, the company, the profession or industry, thejob expectations and demands, the workplace environment, or even for the interviewer themself.Asking and preparing questions helps you to gain access to key information and better prepares you toanswer questions throughout your discussion. Doing research on the position and companybeforehand will help you to devise these questions. see next page © Student Jobs International Inc.
  5. 5. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleGo on a mock interviewThis is a great way to make you feel more at ease about going on a job interview. Interviews withprospective employers can be stressful. Your university or college career center may offer mockinterview sessions where you can practice going over the questions and proceedings of an interview.You can gain insight on how to best present yourself. This experience will allow you to gain usefulfeedback on your performance and learn tips that will enable you to succeed. Practice in this case doesmake perfect!Some Tips to Remember the Day of the InterviewBe on timeThis is an obvious necessity, but it often gets overlooked. There is really no valid excuse for being latefor a job interview. Being late, even just a few minutes, shows that you didn’t care enough toconscientiously prepare yourself and arrive on time to begin the arranged meeting. This makes for aterrible first impression and pretty much ruins all chances of being seriously considered. Make sure thatyou have the correct address and the correct location of the interview. Ensure that you know thenecessary directions and that you take account for possible traffic. Career guru Katie Roth, owner ofPortico Staffing, suggests taking a test run to the location the day before. She indicates that it is normalto arrive 5-10 minutes before the interview begins, arriving too early may make the interviewer feelrushed.Dress appropriatelyYou need to make sure that you are wearing the right clothing. Appearance plays a major role increating a first impression. You want to appear polished, professional and clean. Being underdressedfor a job interview is worse than being overdressed –however you don’t want to overdo it either! Don’twear clothing that you are extremely uncomfortable in just to impress the interviewer. Dressappropriately for the position and organization. Try and imagine what the interviewer or employees atthe company might be wearing. Most interviews have a business casual dress code; however somepositions may allow you to dress more casually or require you to be more formal in your attire. Rothsuggests that you should dress one level above what would be required for the position. Don’t overembellish –it’s alright to be unique in your appearance, but professionalism is the key here. Remember see next page © Student Jobs International Inc.
  6. 6. studentjobs. Matching smart peoplehow important appearances are when making first impressions.Be individual, authentic and honestIt’s important to just relax and be yourself on an interview. Employers value candidates who are openand honest about themselves and their capabilities. Being authentic also helps to set you apart fromyour competition and make you memorable to your interviewer. Never lie in order to impress a hiringmanager, this often used tactic does not pay off in the long run.If you can’t do something, just admit itand emphasize your willingness to learn new skills. You do not need to look perfect on an interview!Sometimes, showing some of your flaws will make you seem more honest and trustworthy. If you domention weaknesses or challenges, emphasize how you overcame them and what you learned fromthe situation. Don’t generalize, or worse, try to completely avoid difficult questions –just be honest.Be concise and to-the-pointSometimes candidates will tend to ramble in an interview and go off on tangents instead of actuallyanswering the questions being posed and keeping the interview flowing. It’s alright to elaborate oncritical points, but don’t become sidetracked or lose focus. Be specific and give relevant examples, buttry and be concise. Be sure to provide an answer to each question asked.Be a good listenerIt’s important to listen as well as speak. Carefully listening to the interviewer and taking notes is a goodway to show your attentiveness, focus and respect for the interviewer. Don’t try and take over theconversation, you should be doing as much listening as speaking.Come with the right attitudeIt’s important that you maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude while on the interview. Employerswant to interview people who really want the job, are motivatedand ready for a challenge. Employersseek out candidates that are perseverant, confident and high performing. You need to communicatehow much you want the job and how much the opportunity would mean to you in a sincere fashion.End on the right foot and follow up with a thank you noteAlways remember to end the interview positively. Be sure to ask what the next steps are in the hiring see next page © Student Jobs International Inc.
  7. 7. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleprocess, so you can prepare to follow-up. Thank the interviewer for their time and let them know thatyou anticipate hearing from them soon. Restate why you would be an asset to the company and whyyou would like to be offered the position. As soon as possible, send the interviewer a thank you note–once again thanking them for their time. Keep the note brief; clearly and concisely recap why youwould be a perfect fit and why you are eager and still interested in the job position.What Your Body Language Says About YouYour body language communicates a lot about you as a person before you actually have a chance tosay anything. Although it’s common to feel a little nervous when you’re interviewing for a job, youneed to ensure that you project confidence. There’s no need to change who you are –if you’re anintroverted person, that’s alright, but don’t let that come off as disinterested. Body language has to dowith your demeanor, mannerisms and overall persona. It is usually unconscious – we often don’t evenrealize what we are communicating through our body language. Here are some tips about maintaininggood body language on an interview:Smile: Smiling is an easy way to communicate enthusiasm, friendliness and interest.Shake hands and introduce yourself: Offering your hand out for a hand shake is an immediateindicator of confidence and self-assurance according to hiring managers. After shaking yourinterviewer’s hand, briefly introduce yourself and why you have come (what position you areinterviewing for).Make eye contact: This may be obvious, but can be difficult if you’re feeling nervous or are shy. It’simportant to make eye contact with your interviewer and actively participate in the conversationinstead of looking at the floor, a spot on the wall or your notes.Posture: Posture is important on a job interview. You want to show the interviewer that you are alert,focused and prepared. You want to communicate that you are conscientious.Be friendly and polite: Your interview begins as soon as you arrive at the location. Be friendly toeveryone you meet at the company; anyone you meet might give feedback on you to the interviewer see next page © Student Jobs Jobs International Inc. © Student International Inc.
  8. 8. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleor hiring manager. You ideally want to make a good first impression on everyone.Relax: Remember to take some deep breaths and relax. This is an important factor in maintaining acalm and poised persona. You want to come off as confident, but not arrogant. Employers wantpeople who are self-assured, motivated and secure in their ability to deliver on the job. Feelinguncomfortable or tense will undoubtedly make the interviewer feel that way too and will create thewrong first impression. Remember to be yourself on the interview and don’t try and sell yourself assomething that you’re not.Present yourself professionally: This step has a lot to do with your physical appearance but alsoyour demeanor. You want to communicate professionalism when you walk into a company ororganization for an interview, which means acting mature and being polite and respectful. Asmentioned earlier, dress appropriately for the position/company and avoid causing too much attentionto your physical appearance. This means that you should avoid wearing things like excessive jewelry,provocative clothing and too much perfume or make-up. Depending on the type of position or workenvironment, you may want to cover up visible tattoos and remove piercings (other than earrings) foran interview. Remember that you are entering a workplace environment; you need to blend insomewhat with the other people working there. The interviewer does not know you; your physicalappearance is the first thing they notice about you and you don’t want to give them the wrong idea.Take five minutes before the interview to check your appearance before meeting the interviewer.Be positive: Positivity and enthusiasm are fundamental on a job interview. You never want to give offa negative vibe to an interviewer, because they just won’t respond well to it and you will probably notget hired. It’s crucial to show how much you want the position, and that you are grateful for theinterviewer’s time. You don’t have to be overly bubbly, but a positive and upbeat candidate will beremembered over someone who comes off as bored, indifferent or disinterested. Positivity (andnegativity!) can be communicated subtly and without saying a word, someone can pick up thesesignals just by your aura. see next page © Student Jobs International Inc.
  9. 9. studentjobs. Matching smart peopleDon’t chew gum, turn of your phone and don’t bring anything unnecessary to theinterview: It’s important to take note of the little things that can create the wrong impression on a jobinterview. Never chew gum, bring candy or food, or come in with your own drink or coffee. Don’t weara hat or sunglasses and don’t bring in any surplus items that are unnecessary for the interview. Alwaysremember to turn off your cell phone and don’t bring along any mobile or electronic devices that maycause a distraction.Making a Great First Impression Doesn’t Have to Be a Challenge!Making a great first impression on an interview means taking the time to do the little things that reallymatter in the end. Go over these tips to help you prepare for your next interview; using the tricks in thisguide is sure to relieve any pre-interview stress and guarantee that you make a great first impression! © Student Jobs International Inc.
  10. 10. studentjobs. Matching smart people This guide is offered to you by Student Jobs is an employment agencyand job board forSTUDENT Canadian Students. It’s our mission to find study relatedJOBS jobs that will give students valuable work experience for their future careers.INTERNATIONALINC. FACEBOOK.COM/STUDENTJOBS.CA HTTP:// TWITTER.COM/STUDENTJOBS.CA HTTP:// LINKEDIN.COM/STUDENTJOBS.CA HTTP:// STUDENT-JOBS.CA HTTP:// © Student Jobs International Inc.