As the school year comes to a close, you might be starting your search for the perfect summer job. Most likely you’re hoping for a position that will look good on your resume and college application, but also one that is enjoyable and pays well. So, you might narrow your list to one or two ideal jobs… And the interview might be the deciding factor. Since the interview phase is your chance to prove you’re the right person for the job, make sure you go prepared.
Prepare for common questions. Interviewers usually ask questions related to why you want the job, your past experience, your goals for the future, and your best qualities. They might also ask if you have summer vacation plans, or have questions about the days and hours that you’re available.
Present the right image. Consider the image that this company wants to project to its customers, and try to present that image yourself. For most jobs, this will mean looking neat and professional, but not overdressed. In the case of retail clothing stores, they often want you to project their store image to customers. So if you own items from that store (that are otherwise appropriate for a job interview), then wear them.
First impressions count. Greet your interviewer with a smile, eye contact, and a firm handshake.
Express flexibility and a willingness to learn. Managers typically don’t want to deal with complicated schedules, so let them know you will make your job a priority. And if you don’t possess all of the necessary skills or experience for the job, be honest about it while expressing an eagerness to learn.
Research the company. If you haven’t already, learn a bit about the company before the interview. This will help you demonstrate genuine knowledge and enthusiasm for the job.
Ask questions. Toward the end of the interview, your interviewer might ask if you have any questions. Speak up! Asking questions demonstrates sincere interest in the position. Of course, you should stay away from any question that makes you look unprofessional.
Thank your interviewer. At the end of the appointment, thank your interviewer for taking the time to talk to you. You can get bonus points by sending a short note or email, but avoid coming off as pushy and don’t ask whether you got the job.