By Lawrence Su (Guest Writer)

Whether you’re out there looking for a job, applying for college, or trying to get an officer position in a club, knowing how to smash that interview is quintessential. Having been to a couple of interviews myself, I present to you five of my most important tips for interviews:

Prepare for possible questions. One of the most common questions asked is, “What is your weakness?” If you can’t answer that question, go ahead and add that to your current list of weaknesses. Being able to answer questions swiftly and confidently will not only impress the interviewer, but also showcase your fit with the organization. By practicing with a friend or writing out a response to some possible questions, you can save yourself from a torrent of unprofessional “uhs” or awkward silences.

Dress for success. If you’re wearing something that you think your grandma would get a heart attack from, change your clothes—but don’t dress like you’re going to said grandma’s funeral either. It should be obvious that you’d want to make a good first impression; so by wearing a titillating tie or a blazing blazer, you’re showing to your interviewer that you mean business. Make sure to give yourself enough time, too, to dress up and not be late for that interview—get there on time!

Be yourself. If you find yourself having to be “someone else,” then you might as well not show up. Don’t resort to trickery or facades; interviewers can most likely see through that. By being who you are and responding sincerely to interview questions, you’re increasing your chances of landing that position that much more. Authenticity is always the way to go.

Ask questions. When asked if they have any questions, most applicants answer, “No,” to which Donald Trump would say, “WRONG.” Whether it’s a job, college, or club interview, asking questions gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. Furthermore, this demonstrates your interest and possible proactive engagement towards the organization.

Thank your interviewer. Congratulations! You’ve finished your interview! But before you go charging out to reward yourself with a bowl of pho, don’t forget to thank the interviewer(s) right before you leave. Once you get back home, write a thank you email or even a letter if you’re feeling fancy. This is not only courteous, but advantageous when compared to other applicants who don’t even bother to say thanks.

It’s okay to be nervous; that’s why they’re called interviews. Interviews are there for you to display who you are. If you end up not getting that job, going to that college or getting that officer position, it’s okay—they don’t deserve someone as great as you anyway. ♦

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