Interview Tips for Recent College Graduates

Fresh GraduatesBeing a recent or soon-to-be college grad can be a bit uncomfortable. You just went from the top of the heap in student life to the bottom rung of the corporate ladder. Furthermore, you are now being asked to abide by an entirely new culture of how things get done. One of these new cultural traditions is the job interview.

As you prepare for your next job interview, here are some interview tips that can help you perform better.


  1. Think about all of your experiences in college as a potential asset or liability for your job search.

    Being the social chair of your fraternity or sorority means that you managed a budget, organized events, and coordinated the activity of a team of people. Such experience will prove to be an asset in your next job, and you should be prepared to describe this experience as an example of your teamwork and leadership.

The photo of you on Facebook having too much to drink, on the other hand, is a liability. Figure that anything on the web is fair game. If you wouldn't want your mom to see something, it shouldn't be online. Set your Facebook privacy settings as high as possible, as well. Right before your next interview, your interviewer may decide to Google your name, and you don't want to lose the job before the conversation even begins.

  1. Talk to people in the industry in which you want to work. Just like psychology and biology each have their own unique vocabularies, every type of business has its own lingo and even its own way of thinking. The more you talk with people in a given industry, the more you will become comfortable with the lingo. Contact alums and ask for short conversations to learn about what they do.

    After you've had a few of these conversations, you will be much more confident for your next interview. You will understand the lingo and will speak in a way that will make the interviewer feel more comfortable.

  2. Think about what you want and why. The job world is quite daunting and unfamiliar. One of the reasons is that it isn't often taught in school. Still, people who start working in a career they are passionate about will gain more responsibility, get promoted quicker, and have higher lifetime earnings than people who switch careers three or four times. If you can figure out what you want, you will be ahead of the curve. Besides, if in your next interview, you can speak passionately (or at least earnestly) about why you are interested in a given profession, you will be far more likely to earn the job.

  3. Get a new interview suit. You may have a suit from high school that you occasionally pulled out of the closet for a college formal. While this suit has served you well, you will feel better about interviewing with a fresh suit that fits in with today's style. This suit will probably come in handy for various work-related events in the future. A new suit doesn't have to be high-end, just something clean and professional.

    Getting the first job out of college is one of the most challenging job search experiences a person will face in his or her professional career. Put in the work, and you will be ahead of the pack - and land the job.