Interviewing made easier: Student tips for nailing your next interview

As students look for jobs and internships, it's important to know what to do in an interview. Students with interview experience has tips to help. (Archive photo | Collegian Media Group)

For many college students, the interviewing process for future career paths can be daunting. Kansas State students give some tips and tricks on what they do to prepare and succeed for interviews.

Francis Knackendoffel, senior in marketing, has interviewed for multiple opportunities. These interviews have included Textron Aviation and Insight Global. When interviewing for large companies Knackendoffel said that she has two major tips that she always uses to prepare for an interview.

Her first tip is a thorough examination of her resume.

“I always go through my resume beforehand,” she said. “And then I look at the job description I am applying for and match up certain words that they have in the description with different experiences I have on my resume.”

The second tip is one that Knackendoffel uses to maintain her nerves. She said that preparation gives her the relief of knowing that she performed to her best ability.

“Preparation helps me handle my nerves and gives me comfort,” she said. “I just prepare a lot and afterwards I tell myself that I did the best I could and that’s all you really can do. At the end of the day if I’m not supposed to get the job, then I’m not supposed to get the job.”

Brett White, senior in marketing, has been through over 30 interviews, and his major tricks for nailing an interview are studying the company beforehand, and going in to an interview with a relaxed mindset.

“The biggest thing I do is researching the company that is interviewing me,” he said. “Every I go into an interview I want to feel very comfortable by understanding what the company does and who they are.”

White said that it is almost inevitable that the company interviewing him will ask questions based on the company itself and why he wants to work there he said.

The second trick that White uses is changing the perspective of an interview from a nerve-racking situation to a positive opportunity.

“I like to view the interview process as you’re just going in to have a conversation,” he said. “Rather than me thinking the whole time that I have to be or act like someone else. Or that I have to say something to impress them.”

Amy Bahner, director of human resources of Paragon Ag Advisors, has been in charge of hiring new employees in her previous three positions. Her advice for anyone going through an interview process is to be aware of your punctuality and be prepared to ask questions.

“A big no-no for me is when someone is late,” she said. “Be on time, or a little bit early, that’s huge. I mean if you can’t be on time for an interview then how are you ever going to be on time for work?”

Along with being on time, Bahner said that asking questions during an interview is a very important indicator of whether or not someone is interested in the position they are applying for she said.

“Bring questions,” Bahner said. “That is a red flag for me when we reach the end of the interview and the candidate has no questions whatsoever. How can you interview for a job and not have any questions? Be prepared with questions and know that there are no stupid questions.”