I'm coming off of interviewing nearly 100 candidates for our school. It's been a truly amazing experience filled with laughs, tears and the opportunity to meet some incredible young people. They are full of life, ready to change the world and normal teenagers.
Whether you are a young person interviewing for high school or a senior preparing for college or an adult about to go on an interview, there are a few things that I would recommend NOT doing. Here's my list which seems to get bigger each year:
1. Blow your nose.
2. Put down anyone, no matter how awful they may seem.
3. Sneeze if at all possible.
4. Arrive late.
5. Avoid eye contact.
6. Try to be someone you are not.
7. Tell jokes if you're not funny.
9. Talk about political things.
What is very impressive in an interview is a candidate who is comfortable being him/her self. We also like it when a candidate compliments someone else, when they ask good questions and when they seem to be happy. There's no secret to interviews, just authenticity and a desire to do a good job.
One final thought and I've been guilty of this as well- too often people downplay their desire for the job and avoid making a "final pitch" for the job/position, etc. I recommend, instead, to prepare a final statement that's something like this:
"Mr. Smith (person interviewing you), thank you for the opportunity to interview today. I really want this and I assure you that, if you give me a chance, I will surpass your expectations. I'm a hard worker and I'll give you everything I have." Try that one out and see how it works. (Hint: it does)