By RAFAEL FLORES, Staff Reporter |
A job interview can be a nerve-wracking situation. “I think it can make you tense,” Skye Fineran, a legal studies major, said. Breaking the tension and having a successful interview requires the effective use of soft skills according to Dr. Mitchell Parker, director of career and employment services at Amarillo College.
Thebalancecareers.com, a career-finder website, indicates that soft skills are personal attributes that can be applied at a workplace, such as being a good listener, being aware of body language and knowing the social mannerisms that are required in a certain situation.
“Often times it’s not encouraged to have a seat until they ask you to sit,” Parker said. He also recommended that interviewees lean forward during an interview, put their hands where they can be seen, maintain good eye contact and nod at appropriate times.
Another key to a successful interview is appearance. Josh Ballard, a legal studies major, said presenting yourself well is important because first impressions are everything.
Parker recommends dressing one step above the uniformity. “You’re typically never going to get reprimanded or have points marked off for overdressing,” he said. He also suggested avoiding loud colors such as a “blazing orange” or a “hot pink.” In addition to choosing clothing carefully, Parker said that applicants should research the culture of a business when it comes to tolerance of tattoos or piercings.
According to a study done by skininfo.com, a skincare boutique website, 73 percent of companies are open to hiring people with visible tattoos. As for piercings and jewelry, Parker said people should wear studs in their ears instead of hoop earrings or gauges. He also recommended removing any piercings around the facial area, such as the lips or nose, before going into the interview.
Another way to prepare for an interview is through research. “You got to be jotting down potential questions that you think your potential employer is going to ask,” Samantha Wisnewski, a legal studies major, said.
Many businesses have websites that provide details on their history and priorities. “Learn as much as you can about the company you are trying to work for,” Arbai Elmi, an education major, said.
Finally, Parker said that students who are searching for jobs should take advantage of the many resources at AC, especially the Career Center, which offers tools to help students succeed in interviews. “One of the best things students can do is practicing interviewing skills with me,” Parker said. The Career Center also holds mock interviews tailored for specific career areas.