We’re all familiar with that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach right before an interview. Nervously waiting in an unfamiliar office while clutching your portfolio and trying to remember absolutely everything you can about the company you’re about to interview with. Well now you can relax thanks to some insider help! I sat down with Mara Sardella, Human Resources Coordinator at Brownstein Group, Philadelphia’s oldest independent brand communication firm to find out her best advice for nailing that interview.
How can a student make the best first impression in an interview?
When they come prepared with questions to ask the interviewer as well.
When interviewing a candidate, what generally impresses you the most?
When you can tell they have done their research on the company they are interviewing with. Also, knowing our clients and work and telling me how they can contribute their skills to what we offer.
How important is it to follow up after an interview with something personal, like an email or thank you note?
An email or hand written thank you note is very important. The HR Director and I always share thank you notes we get from candidates, it lets us know they enjoyed their time with us.
What is the oddest thing someone has done to set themselves apart from other job applicants? And do those over the top gestures really work?
We have had someone make us a tank top with the BG logo stitched onto it, someone sent their resume over in a bottle that looked exactly like our Liberty Kvell April Fool’s Joke, someone made a parody video to the song of Backstreet Boys, “I want it that way”, and it was called “I want a job today” (they actually got offered a job with us). All the creative gesture submissions get noticed and will always get a response and most of the time a meeting, but in the end it matters what is on the resume and if that applicant is qualified for the job.
Do you have a great tip for interviewing? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!