So, you’ve finally handed in your last assignment and you’ll soon be ready to receive your diploma and display it proudly on your bedroom wall. It’s now time to prepare for that all-important interview for your very first ‘proper’ job or internship. But what to say or do or avoid?
Interviews can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of your adult life, but you’ll be much more confident about the prospect of one if you prepare thoroughly in advance.
Everyone knows what they should be saying to impress the hiring manager but do you know what topics are off-limits? To help you, we’re bringing you five things you definitely shouldn’t say in your post-college interview.
“This is just a temporary job for me”
True, you may have grand plans to go off traveling in a year or so, or even pursue a career in a different industry altogether, but does the interviewer really need to know this? He or she could go on to be your boss, so think about what you say. Do you want to give them the impression that you won’t be sticking around long – and that you’re only interested in the job for the salary it brings? Instead, make sure you talk confidently and positively about the job and ask well-thought-out questions. In doing so, your prospective employer knows you’re interested in the job itself and you’ll stand out as a good candidate.
“What’s the salary?”
Of course, you’ll be itching to know what the salary for that hot new position will be. However, make sure you resist the temptation to ask – at least at the first interview stage. Again, your prospective employer wants to know you’re interested in the role and not just the perks it offers.
“How long do I get for lunch?”
Are you really applying for this job because you can see yourself working for the company in question? Or are you simply interested in how long you’ll get for lunch and what other benefits you’ll receive by becoming an employee. Skip this question and instead ask something thoughtful about the job role, or the hiring manager. How did they get into the industry, for example?
“I know I don’t have much experience, but…”
As a college grad, it’s true that you might not be bursting with the relevant experience needed for the job. But don’t allow that to come across in the interview. Instead, tell the hiring manager about your willingness to learn and succeed. Highlight similar experience and downplay any work-related weaknesses. After all, the interviewer needs to know they can put their trust in you to do a great job for the company.
“I hated my last boss”
Again, this may be true, but badmouthing a previous employer or internship opportunity really won’t give off the right impression. Okay, so you don’t need to gush about an employer you didn’t like but equally make sure you’re careful not to focus on the negatives.
How do you prepare for an interview? Do you have some top tips you’d like to share?
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!