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5 ways to be a better interviewee

Interviewing well is a learned skill crucial for any job seeker. Here are some things you need to know.

1. Be likeable

A good interviewee shows their personality. They need to know who they’re hiring, said Jessie Skinner, a student employee at the Academic Discovery Center and a senior studying humanities.

“Talk to them like you would talk to a friend, but professionally,” Skinner said.

Be confident but not cocky; that can be worse than being too shy, according to an article by Carole Martin written for Monster.

Be kind to everybody. How you treat receptionists can make a difference, according to an article by Laura McMullenwritten for US News.

2. Ask questions

Asking questions shows that you listen and that you’re interested in the company, according to the article by Carole Martin.

“A lot of people at this point, when they say, ‘Do you have any questions for me,’ they think that the interview is over,” Skinner said. “It’s not. They’re still interviewing you based on your questions, and you want to remember that, and you want to have questions prepared, and they should be sincere and thoughtful.”

3. Make weaknesses into strengths

Put a positive spin on weaknesses, according to an article by Jeff Haden written for LinkedIn.

“Students need to pinpoint exactly what the weakness is and say how you’re improving,” Skinner said. “Say a specific example of how you’re improving so the answer is credible.”

4. Appearance

“Forty-five percent of interview success is your appearance, and that doesn’t just mean your clothes and your hair and stuff — that is everything,” Skinner said.

People focus so much on their answers that they neglect the crucial element of appearance. You need to be presentable and confident, Skinner said.

“People forget that it’s the whole package that you should have together,” Skinner said.

5. Be specific

Students are not specific enough, Skinner said.

“They don’t use concrete examples to back up their claims,” she said.

The best way to answer a question about one’s greatest strengths is to give a power statement, Skinner said.

“Give the skill, the example and a result,” Skinner said.

If you have a skill, show how the company can use it, according to the article by Jeff Haden.

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