Five tips on Interviewing

By Maddy Miller
Distinguished Young Woman of Nebraska for 2013

Whatever you plan to do in life, you will probably have to do a million of these: Interviews! When I did my interview for Nebraska’s Distinguished Young Women program, I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little terrified! But when I was preparing for Distinguished Young Women Nationals I did several mock interviews and learned a lot about how to have a successful interview. So whether you are doing an interview for college, a scholarship, internship, job, or Distinguished Young Women, here are five basic tips for a great interview: 
  1. Be Professional. Make sure you dress in business attire. (No ripped jeans, t-shirts, etc. ;)) First impressions make a big difference, so show them that you are serious about the interview. Make sure you are on time. It is good to be a little early, but don’t be there half an hour early! Stay positive and smile throughout the interview. Remember to be polite, make eye contact, shake hands, and say thank you at the end of the interview!
  2. Be prepared. No matter what type of interview make sure you walk in that door ready to go. Be sure your resume is up to date and accurate to the particular job or position. Know about what you are interviewing for. You should do some research beforehand about the company or business. Read over your resume and know that you will be getting questions based on what you wrote. For example, if you wrote you were a secretary at a daycare, you may receive a question such as, “Give me a time when you had a conflict with a customer.” If it is an interview similar to ones for Distinguished Young Women, make sure you have been reading the newspaper or watching the news and know what is going on in your local community and globally. There is no way you can know everything, but just keep up to date on the major events. 
  3. Be calm and confident. Don’t freak out! I will be honest, I often struggle with this. It is easy to get overwhelmed when heading in to an interview. But always remember, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you don’t get the job, scholarship, etc., it’s okay! But you will gain so much interviewing experience. So stand up tall and be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished! Always remember this quote: “The best accessory a girl can own is confidence.”
  4. Be Honest. If they ask you a question about something you don’t know about, just be honest! Don’t try and make something up. Simply say, “I am sorry, I don’t know”. It is perfectly okay to ask for clarification if you’re not sure what they are asking. You can also take a few moments to think of a response so you can answer the question clearly. Lastly, make sure all that you have put on your resume is true and accurate.
  5. Be You! This is probably one of the most important and simple tips. Don’t try and be someone else! Show them how awesome you are! You can show your personality and still be professional! “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”- Judy Garland

Remember the more interviews you do, the more comfortable they will become. These are some basic interviewing tips that are good to remember. If you want more information or specifics, below is a website that has great information about interviewing, resumes, and applications. You can also research typical interview questions online and practice with your parents or friends. So the next time you go into an interview you can be professional, prepared, calm and confident, honest, and you!

Maddy Miller is a college freshman at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania majoring in Dance with a Jazz concentration. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Maddy was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Nebraska for 2013. Learn more about Maddy here!

  • Sara Wagoner Young

    04th Feb 2014 at 19:35

    I enjoyed reading your blog, Maddy. Thanks for contributing! It was good to see your mother at the DYW NEBoard meeting last week end and am pleased to hear you are enjoying Point Park and Pittsburgh. Keep up the good work! Sending good wishes your way!

  • Anonymous

    05th Feb 2014 at 03:22

    Very well done Maddy! Love you Dad

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