Okay, here's the honest truth: I am not a career counselor, HR expert, or business savant.
However, recently a friend emailed me and asked for some advice. She had a number of interviews set up and was wondering if I could give her some tips on interviewing.
I sent her the following email, and she later told me that she felt like the tips helped her and that the interviews went well.
So, for those who are curious, I've reproduced my tips below. Her intervierws aere non-medical, but I believe these principles still apply regardless of your type of interview.
Remember, consider these tips at your own risk. If you quote me, I'll deny I ever wrote them...
Thanks for the email.
Here's a few tips (for what they're worth):
1. Wear matching clothes. This sounds obvious, but I know more than one person who went to an interview, got dressed in the dark, and wore clothes that didn't match. One female classmate of mine wore a navy flat shoe with a black high heel because she packed her bag in the dark and didn't have time to get matching shoes before the early morning interview the next day.
2. If the interview is over lunch, do not order any finger foods or food with a lot of sauce.
3. Remember, people will think you are a brilliant conversationalist if you're a good listener. They'll think you're a genius if you show interest in their passions.
4. Be yourself. You're fortunate to be a good person who is likable. All the crazies in the world will be trying to act like you during their interviews.
5. Turn any of your "weaknesses" into strengths. For instance, if have a problem focusing, don’t say "I probably won't be good at focusing in this job." Instead say, "One of my strengths is that I have a curious mind and I love learning about things." There's a positive to every negative tendency you might have.
6. Don't sweat being interviewed. You've done much bigger things-- this is small potatoes. Also, most interviewers are too worried about you thinking they're smart and accomplished to be concerned about anything else.
7. I would be sure to ask each interviewer how a person like yourself fits into the overall picture within the organization.
8. I would also ask each interviewer, "If you could work for any organization or company (except for this one), which would it be and why?" This could give you an idea about where else to apply.
9. One last thing to keep in mind: You are friendly, honest, and literate. These three traits set you above about 80% of the work force already. Any of these organizations would be lucky to get you.