The beginning is the most important part of the work. -Plato
Getting a job is a huge achievement, even if it's only part time. However, before you start your new job, you must pass the interview process. Now, while this sounds like a daunting task, you can easily ace the interview if you know what to do walking into it.
Do Your Research
Before your interview, do as much research on your potential employer as possible. Look through their website and social media pages to find out who they are and what they are about. This is important because you don't want to walk into an interview and not know anything about the company or what they're looking for.
This will also help you decide if this company would be a good fit for you and your personality.
Have A Good Handshake
There's a saying that you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake, and it's true. Having a firm handshake shows that you are confident in yourself and are comfortable interacting with others.
Don't crush the other person's hand, but at the same time, don't have wet noodle hands. Try to find the happy medium between the two. Try practicing with a friend or family member and ask for feedback.
Be Friendly and Personable
Employers look for people who are friendly and can easily be approached by customers. This means putting on a genuine smile. Showing that you can connect with people. Meeting the needs of others without losing your cool with the task at hand, even if the customer is being awful.
All of these are traits that make a good employee. And will make a company more likely to hire you.
Keep The Nerves In Check
Even if you are practically freaking out, don't let yourself be overcome with nerves because an interviewer will see that, and could take it as unprofessional.
Before your interview, try to take some time to relax. Listen to some calming music or nature sounds. Read a chapter of a book you enjoy. This will help you calm down and be able to focus on wowing your potential boss.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions
After the interviewer is finished talking to you and asking about your experience, they will often ask if you have any questions. This is a great opportunity for you to clarify anything that you might be confused about or that wasn't already covered by the interviewer.
Asking your potential employer questions shows that you have an interest in their business. It also allows you to gauge whether or not this would be a good fit for you.
Before you go in for your interview, make a mental list of questions you want to ask. Then, when your interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask away.
Some topics you can ask about are: what your hours would be, what kind of culture the company has, and what some of the expectations are of you as an employee.
Bring The Materials
Even if you have already sent your interviewer a copy of your resume, always bring another copy with you, along with any other relevant materials, including any certificates that are relevant. For example, if I were to interview for another job in childcare, (my current field), I would bring my CPR certificate, as well as any other certifications such as, child development.
A copy of your transcript can be useful as well, if you have good grades or have taken lots of advanced classes.
Don't Stretch The Truth
We all want to look good in an interview, but you should never, ever stretch the truth, embellish or flat out lie in an interview to make yourself look good. If you get caught, that will automatically send a red flag to a potential employer and will likely result in you not getting the job.
Just be honest, even if the truth doesn't sound as good. Honesty will pay off.
Dress For The Job You Want
This is an old piece of advice, but a great one. Whenever you go in for an interview, you should always dress in nice clothes that make you look like a professional. Now, this doesn't mean you need to show up for an interview at a coffee shop wearing a three-piece suit. Instead, just wear a pair of slacks and a nice shirt or blouse.
Send A Thank You Note
After an interview, it is customary to send your interviewer a thank you note. Not only is this polite, but it also shows that you have genuine interest in the job you interviewed for.
Traditionally, you would send the card through the mail, but it is perfectly acceptable nowadays to send a thank you email instead.
It should look something like this:
Dear Interviewer's Name,
Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today about (position). I enjoyed learning more about (company name) and the role I would play.
Thank you again,
Your thank you note doesn't have to be anything fancy, it just needs to show your appreciation and interest in the job.
Remember, It's Okay If You Don't Get The Job
Sometimes, even if you do everything and the interview goes well, you still won't get the job. It's okay to feel upset and even a little frustrated. This isn't necessarily a reflection of you or your abilities. It just means that it wasn't the job for you.
Don't give up on your job search. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the job for you, and that's okay.
Interviewing for a job is not easy. But, it is a valuable learning experience that will carry on beyond looking for a part-time job. In your life, you will probably have dozens of jobs and the skills that you learn now can last a lifetime.