Completing the final classes to earn your online degree is an exciting time. It can also be nerve-wracking as you prepare for job interviews. You may feel unprepared, especially if you are moving into a new industry. Luckily, there are common job interview tips that apply across a variety of fields, even if you’re trying to change industries after earning a business degree online or an online criminal justice degree.
1. Dress the Part. Flip flops on the beach are totally appropriate. In a job interview? Totally not. A big part of getting a job is dressing the part. A good rule of thumb is to dress a bit more formal than you think your new coworkers would. So, if it’s a casual environment, go ahead and wear dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie, or a nice dress. If your potential employer has a business casual dress policy, wear a suit.
Think about your specific industry too. For example, if you just completed online business training with a career in sales in mind, you’ll definitely want to dress formally. For all industries cover up tattoos and your midriff, no matter how casual you think they might be. It’s best to be judged on your resume and experience than your belly button ring.
2. Bring Extra Copies of your Resume. You likely submitted your resume when you applied for the job; however, don’t assume your interviewer will have a copy. This will help you be more prepared for your interview, too, even giving you a chance to reference it right when they ask a question. It’s powerful to be able to say that you’ve already done something and be able to show an example right there on your resume.
Portfolios can offer another chance to show you’re comfortable with components of the potential job because you have already done it. But, portfolios aren’t just important interview tools for job seekers in the creative fields, they can be good for new graduates in healthcare or who have completed .
3. Practice, Practice, Practice. A job interview is like riding a bike – once you’ve done it you instinctively know what to do, but it’s always better with practice. It will be obvious to a recruiter if you are not prepared – you’ll be less confident and slower with responses to frequently asked questions. Grab your spouse or a friend – or go online and research mock interview sites – and walk through exactly how the interview would go. Be familiar with terms and questions specific to your dream job too. And, if you are applying for a job that requires education that you don’t have, practice your answers for addressing those gaps. For example if you are in the healthcare field and plan to take medical assistant classes or other certifications be sure you include that in your answers.
4. Take a Deep Breath. That’s right, just relax! Your experience may have gotten you in the door, but often the success of a job interview depends on how well your conversation with the recruiter goes. Make sure to mind your manners, like turning off your cell phone before you go into the building and arriving five minutes before your scheduled start time. If you’re confident and relaxed, you’ll be better equipped to deal with curveball questions. We’ve all heard the job interview joke, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” but some recruiters like to ask silly questions. This is your chance to let your personality shine through and how you respond to the unexpected.
5. Say Thank You. Since you were minding your p’s and q’s, you surely said thank you to your recruiter. But, go the extra mile after the interview and follow-up with a card or email. This is your chance to show your appreciation to whoever interviewed you and once again let them know that you appreciated their time. Small details like this can make you stand out from the crowd of applicants, no matter what industry you’re in.
A job interview is the door to your new future and Bryant & Stratton College Online can help you take your first step toward that new future with an online degree.