Job Interview Insights I Learned

Everyone who ever has to apply for a job goes through a job interview. And it’s not exactly one of the nicest things a person has to go through in their lives. While some can confidently face a job interview, most people cringe at the thought of being asked questions and thinking about the right answers for it. Because of their nervousness, they fail the job interview even if they really want to pass. This is one reason why you don’t get the job you’re looking for. Nervousness is to blame, alongside with unpreparedness and being overly conscious about everything.

I once went through a job interview for an internship, and I have to admit, it can really make you nervous. But thankfully, I winged it well. After that first job interview, I learned a lot of things on what to do and what not to do during job interviews:

1. Yes, it pays to look your best.

Looks do matter after all. It’s because your physical appearance is the first thing people see in you, and that helps them to create first impressions of you in their minds. While being born with good looks can help, you can still look your best even if you aren’t overly attractive. Beauty isn’t just for those who were born with it.

In job interviews, you need to achieve a certain look so you would appear professional. Invest in good work clothes that can take you from the interview until you get the job you’re eyeing. For women, collared blouses, black slacks, and closed heels will work, while formal button-downs, dark pants, and leather shoes are for men. Ladies should apply light make up that isn’t too bright nor too washed out, and long hair must be pulled back in a ponytail. Gentlemen should comb back their hair without making it look like it’s greased with hair gel.

And the number one rule of all? Take a shower and brush your teeth. Nothing can turn off an interviewer than an applicant who’s smelly. It’s all about looking clean and presentable. That’s a plus point for any job applicant out there.

2. Don’t repeat what’s in your resume when you’re asked to tell about yourself.

“Tell me about yourself.”

This is the most commonly asked interview question, and yet a lot of people fail to answer this properly. How do you answer this question without sounding arrogant or giving off an air of false humility?

The number one rule is not to repeat what’s written in your resume, like, “I’m blank name and I studied at blah-blah college and worked at this company and so forth…” Instead, tell the interviewer about your latest work experience, some skills you acquired from it, and how this will best fit into the position you’re applying for. It’s not really about answering basic info about yourself, but more of your previous work experience.

For college graduates who are asked this crucial question, you can answer with the degree you finished, your internships, and the skills and work experiences you gained from it.


3. Don’t fidget. Body language speaks a lot during job interviews.

Tapping your fingers on the tabletop or swaying your foot means that you’re getting fidgety. It’s not pretty to look at when you’re being interviewed. Remind yourself to remain calm and composed before entering the interview room, and take a deep breath. When being talked to, just places your hands on your lap or on the tabletop, and don’t move too much while you answer the questions. Some hand gestures will do, but try to limit that. It’s so easy to spot a confident applicant from one who’s fidgety and moves around a lot. Of course, you want to be known as the confident applicant, right?

4. There are no right or wrong answers.

The interview questions may be the same for every applicant, but the answers will vary. Don’t overthink too much whether you answer it right or not, because your answers depend on your previous work experience and insights. It’s best to think about potential answers for potential questions before you undergo an interview, as this will help you delve deeper into your own learning experiences during your previous or present work. There is no right answer during a job interview. Somehow, this thought can help you ease your nerves.

5. If you mess up, don’t be so hard on yourself. 

It happens; you mess up during a job interview by answering hesitantly, not giving a good impression, or just simply flunking the job interview. It does happen to job applicants, and when it happens to you, don’t hate yourself for it. This is not the only job you’ll apply for. When you mess up your job interview, just wallow in self-pity for a bit, then learn from it and move on. Think about what you’ve learned and how you won’t repeat this same mistake in your next interview.

These are the job interview insights I learned, and I hope you can also learn from this. Be confident, be yourself, and shine as bright as you can in your job interview. Here’s hoping you get the job you applied for!

Abby Ross currently applied for an intership where she experienced her first job interview. She shares these tips so that she can help other college students who are going through the same thing. She also works as a freelancer for and reads in her spare time.