Young people: here’s how to crush an interview

Sometimes, career position battles will occur between someone with 20 years of experience and someone with 20 years of, well, life. The question is, how can young people compensate for our lack of experience?

  1. Preparation.

Inevitably, questions resembling ‘why this company?’ ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ or ‘what in your life has prepared your for this position?’ will surface.

Translation: ‘have you done your homework?’ ‘do you have goals?’ and ‘are we going to have to teach you everything?’

Young people have a unique advantage when interviewing: interviewers do not expect much. Where you cannot dazzle with experience, woo them with preparation. As young people, we have yet to become complacent — we are still coachable, teachable and driven.

2. Honesty

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything” — Mark Twain.

What is on your resume is what should flow easily into your conversation — get your story straight and present it eloquently.

What’s the best way to do that, you ask? Honesty; do not clutter your resume with loaded, fabricated over-indulgences. What wins you a career is your ability to apply your skills, not simply accrue skills.

Remember, your resumé is carefully selected, professionally modeled, accurate data providing a synopsis of your potential based upon your initiative and dedication.

3. Confidence

With preparation and transparency comes confidence — malpractice during forethought or an unethical representation causes fret. Young people are generally supposed to be frightened or intimidated, but instead, we are generation that respects the potential workload rather than fears it.

A solid interviewer will provide relaxing, comforting small talk beforehand, but we need not count on that. Interviews conquer and are conquered-by based upon your mindset: “believe you can and you’re halfway there” — Theodore Roosevelt.

Here are a few quick tips for successful interviews:

  • When applicable, note cards. Simple high notes about the company you’re applying for.
  • Turn the tables and ask questions. Prepare 3–4 questions about the position available, the interviewer’s job happiness, and the company itself.
  • Make a strong first impression. Although sometimes easier said than done, it’s the simple things like a firm handshake, or on a phone interview, how you answer the phone — I have found interviewers appreciate ‘Hello, this is [your name],’ over ‘Hello?’ Also, in person, eye contact — do it.
  • If you are still in college, get a part-time job or internship. Potential employers will admire your sacrifice over those who simply dove into debt.

Some social skills cannot be taught or even rehearsed, but pure confidence is absolutely a major key in an interview. The best way to be confident? Be prepared. Be honest.

Jagger Williams

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