So you finally got scheduled for your first job interview. As a college student, you might still feel queasy at the thought to being grilled for a minimum of 30 minutes on that chair, asked so many questions you feel like your head is beginning to spin. Don’t worry because as a matter of fact, almost every one still feels the same, one way or another. A job interview is just one of the phases that you have to go through to make yourself worthy of the job, and sometimes, it’s meant to be difficult.
But you don’t have to suffer through it. A lot of people might have already told you to just be confident, and present yourself properly and you’ll instantly make a good impression. However, sometimes you need actual preparation for the employer to not just be impressed by you, but actually prioritize you over other applicants.
One of the most common mistakes made my job applicants is to answer in the most cliche way a possible. You have to remember that interviewers have gone through the routine of interviewing a lot of times before so you want to bring something fresh to their minds and be remembered. One thing you can do is actually be honest for a change. A lot of applicants, when asked about what their edge is from other applicants, would answer in general terms like, “I’m hardworking, I push myself to the limits, I am never satisfied until I give it my best shot,” or something similar.
It’s all been heard before, and you don’t want to blend into the crowd of other applicants who probably memorized the line too. No matter how much fluff you say during an interview, the interviewer is pretty much going to see through you. So you might want to try honesty for a change. But honest doesn’t mean you’re going to admit you crumble under pressure, or you are demotivated by gossip officemates or a terror boss. You don’t have to go that far. But sometimes, admitting one feat of weakness actually makes you seem more confident than you actually are.
One example would be this one time that I encountered. I asked a particularly interesting applicant what set him apart the other ones who were clearly had better qualifications than himself. He answered, confidently I must say and while looking at me in the eye, “I don’t know that one thing I do know is that I always surprise myself and exceed my own standards in some way. Ten years ago I didn’t even consider getting into college, but I somehow graduated with honors.” Needless to say, we hired him.
In short, if you want to make a lasting impression, avoid answering in the most cliche way possible. If you do that, you will definitely breeze through that job interview you had been dreading, and might even get the job on the spot.