For both students and companies, the campus interview can be a stressful and competitive process. Companies must compete with each other to recruit the best and brightest students to increase their bottom line. Students must compete against each other to get the best jobs with the most competitive salaries and benefits.
During a campus interview, just having the right credentials is not enough, as you will often be up against other students who have credentials which are equal to or beyond your own. Your success or failure during the interview has less to do with your credentials and more to do with your personality and how you carry yourself.
When it comes to the campus interview, etiquette is extremely important. You may have the best credentials in the world, but if you have poor etiquette, you might as well not even have these credentials, because your competition will eat you alive and they will get the best jobs while you are left with empty hands. While your credentials may tell a company who you are, your etiquette will tell them the type of person you are.
More than ever before, companies are placing a higher emphasis on personality as opposed to mere credentials. An applicant who has drive and ambition with lower credentials may be chosen over a person who has better credentials but a lack of drive.
Campus Interview Etiquette Tips
The very first rule of campus interview etiquette is to be punctual. It could be argued that this is the most important rule, because if you fail to show up on time to your interview, you will fail before you even start. While the interviewer may still proceed with interview, their first impression of you will be set in stone, and this is the impression of a person who is late. When you show up late you send a message that the time of the interviewer is not important to you, and if this is the case, then your employment opportunity will not be important to them.
The next most important campus interview etiquette tip is to dress properly. The clothes you choose to wear to the interview says a lot about you, and you want the impression you give to be positive instead of negative. The general rule of thumb for dressing up for a job interview is that it is best to dress a bit better than what is commonly seen in the company environment.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not always necessary or desirable to wear a business suit. Whether or not you dress this way is dependent on the type of job you are applying for. Some interviewers do not mind casual wear, while others do. The next most important thing that you must consider is the handshake.
Shaking Hands During The Campus Interview
The importance of giving a proper handshake at the start of the campus interview cannot be emphasize enough. The handshake is remarkable because it is the "first" physical interaction that you will make with the interviewer. Much like your punctuality, a failure to give the proper handshake may kill the interview before it starts. Yes, the interview will proceed, but you may never again hear anything from the company. The ideal handshake is one where you step forward, reach out, shake the hand of the other person, and squeeze their hand briefly and firmly (but not too firmly), before releasing your grip.
This type of handshake conveys someone who is reliable, open, and polite. Giving a weak handshake conveys a message that you are a weak or untrustworthy individual who cannot be relied upon to do the job for which you have applied. When it comes to speaking, let the interviewer begin. They are going to ask you a series of questions and you will provide the answers.
However, you also want to ask them some questions of your own. If you can ask them questions which are related to their company, questions which could only be raised by someone who has researched their organization, this will make you even more impressive in their eyes. Never, under any circumstances, interrupt the interviewer while they are speaking. When they speak, be silent and give them time to finish what they are saying before responding.