As a college student or a recent grad, you’ve worked hard to get internships and part-time jobs that will expand your skill set.
Still, no matter how much you take on, you’re young to the workforce and don’t have a lot of experience up your sleeve.
We know, it’s hard out here for a hustler.
Employers know you haven’t had a lot of time to rack up experience, but that doesn't fully take the pressure away, especially when the time comes to schedule your interview.
You have to convince employers you are worth it, and that giving you a chance and placing trust in your potential will be one of the best decisions they've ever made.
Here are three things you need to keep in mind in order to be perceived as far more professional than many of your peers:
1. Don’t admit to being nervous.
While it’s normal to be nervous in an interview (especially during your first one), most employers will expect you to be calm under pressure.
There are going to be a lot of stressful situations at work such late nights, intense projects with demanding deadlines, meetings with high-profile clients, etc.
Saying, “I’m sorry, I’m really nervous,” isn’t the best way to convince your interviewer you’ve got it all under control.
The first step is to be confident in yourself.
You got the interview, which means you already have what it takes to impress your interviewer.
The second step is to practice.
That means preparing for your interview and going on many, many more interviews. It’s the best way to get comfortable with the process.
2. Don't ask, "What’s your role again?”
We've heard stories of job candidates go in for an interview and ask the CEO, “Are you the office manager?”
Don’t get us wrong; asking your interviewer questions is great. Asking questions you should already know the answer to, however, is not the best way to showcase your due diligence or your interest in the company.
You should always research the company and your interviewer before stepping foot in the office. We can’t stress this enough.
It will especially impress your interviewer if he or she can tell you’ve done your research before asking your question.
For example, say something like:
I noticed the company is planning on targeting younger audiences. How is progress with that going so far?
Take a look on Google News and the company’s website a day or two before your interview to prepare a few talking points.
Your interview will go a lot more smoothly because of it.
3. Don't be afraid to sell yourself.
An interview is a conversation, and you can’t expect your interviewer to connect the dots for you.
For each question you answer, you have to tell a story about why your past experience — from working and volunteering to pursuing relevant hobbies — makes you qualified for the job.
For example, you can say something like:
I worked as a Campus Rep last summer, which taught me to tailor marketing strategies to specific demographics. As a result, I was able to increase monthly user acquisition by 15 percent, which is why I’m confident I would excel in this role.
This type of answer shows you’ve taken the time to think about how your skills make you a good fit for the role, and it’s a great way to practice selling yourself in interviews.
Now, instead of exposing the skills you lack, you can show your interviewer what you’re really made of.
This article was written by Kema Christian-Taylor, WayUp staff.