Interview-Approved Behaviors!

Good morning, Falcons! Interview season is fully upon us, as you know if you’ve been putting in the work and applying for those positions. Interviews seem to have changed a lot, but in reality, only the medium where they happen has been altered. In virtual interviews, there might be slight discrepancies in how you should act, but almost everything does stay the same. Here are some tips of how to behave in interviews, whether your interview is being conducted virtually or socially-distanced in-person.

  • Arrive early
    • Prior to the pandemic, it was common practice to physically be at your interview location 15-20 minutes before your start-time. Nowadays, you can cut down the early arrival to 5-10 minutes before the start-time, but waiting in a waiting room shows that you are prepared and excited.
  • Communicate with the employer if anything comes up
    • Missing an interview is really bad. Make sure that if an emergency comes up, which an employer will understand because life does happen, you are clear about what occurred, that it was a valid excuse for a late-show or a no-show, that you are so sorry, and that you communicate all of this information as soon as possible. Often, if a candidate does not show up for an in-person or Zoom meeting, the interview will be cancelled. After all, an interviewer will not just sit around for however long it may take you to arrive. So while it’s extremely important to show up to your interviews and do so on time (or, preferably early), if something really stands in your way, send an extremely apologetic email right away. 
    • That being said, missing an interview could cost you the position, even if you explain everything correctly and in a timely fashion, so it’s far better for your stress and your career to show up to these pre-planned commitments.
  • Keep solid eye contact
    • Make a virtual environment more comfortable by keeping your eyes on the camera and therefore looking like you are keeping direct eye contact, just like you would have been doing in-person. If you’re physically at an interview, practice strong eye contact whenever you can to establish a connection with the interviewer and show that you are involved in listening to what he or she is saying.
  • Take notes
    • Taking notes is something you should be doing no matter what the format of your interview looks like. If it’s your first interview, your notes will come in extremely handy for future rounds. If it’s a final interview, taking notes shows dedication and will give you ideas on what kinds of questions to come up with for the end. In any case, you will definitely want notes for when you follow up.
  • Follow up
    • Always follow up within 24 hours of interviewing. You could do it in 48, but that is pushing it and 24 is truly preferable. This keeps your name and interview fresh on the interviewer’s mind, and gives them a final hint that you are very interested before they make the decision on whether to move you forward or extend an offer.
  • Additional: Do not be pushy or say anything inappropriate
    • This seems like a given, but the stress of this year, the pandemic, and the never-ending Zoom calls have caused people to say and do crazy things. Make sure that you keep things professional during your interviews. It’s true that students are more stressed and burnt out than ever before. Time feels like an unreal concept when it is all spent online and that makes it really easy to overshare. Be careful about what you say, even if there’s awkward silence that you just want or need to fill. It’s important to realize that with a virtual or in-person interview format, you need to be prepared enough to have a conducive, professional conversation. Having access to the internet is not going to help you ace an interview, so practice is necessary.
By Alina Minkova
Alina Minkova Creative Blog Curator Alina Minkova