So you've got an interview this week? And you don't want to get caught looking clueless when an interviewer asks you something totally out of left field...

Don't panic, we've got tips. Also, they're conveniently in a bullet point list because I know y'all don't like to read.

If you're interested, I've compiled some tips to get you through interview season. I am not the university career center, so my job is not to remind you to dress for the job you want or to brush your teeth or to show up to the interview on time. These tips are for the advanced interviewee, looking to get a leg-up on competition. You may be interviewing for a part-time job next semester, or you may be applying for your first full-time position of your post-graduate career. Either way, these pointers will help you nail the interview and come out of there with confidence.

  • If you don't have a connection, make one. A trick I always use: look up your interviewer on LinkedIn. Have they worked at a company you've also worked at? Do you have ties to their alma mater? Find a not-creepy way to bring that up during your interview, and watch their eyes light up. Whether they realize you've looked them up or not, that connection is something they'll remember about you.
  • Research the company values, mission, and vision. That stuff isn't corny or made up, these are real pillars that companies use to guide their employees every year! Maybe the company you're interviewing with has a "user first" approach. Find a way to incorporate how you've exemplified that in past work experience during an interview Q & A. They'll know you did your research, and it can also help you find out if you're a good fit.
  • If they ask if you have questions, NEVER, I repeat, NEVER say "Nope". Bad. Bad. Bad. Ask about follow up, ask about the weather, ask about anything. Just don't say "nothing".
  • Ask the interviewer about themselves and their career at the company. This lets them know that career development is important to you and that you're genuinely personable. These are two important traits of a great employee.
  • Remember it's not the answer that is so important, it's your thought process leading up to that point. If you're in a technical or difficult interview, share your thoughts on how you came to a certain answer; sometimes you get partial points for showing your work (yes, like calculus).

I am already so proud of you! Report back.