Written by Melissa Larson, Assistant Manager, Campus Recruitment, RBCMelissa Larson

Making it to the interview stage is a feat in itself. It also means something on your resume caught the attention of the hiring manager.

You should be excited that you made it to the next step in the hiring process, yet so many students find themselves anything but calm, cool, and collected before their interview.

There are so many tips on how to rock an interview but these are five that I consistently tell students when asked:

Research the company and know the role

Success starts with a solid understanding and knowledge of what you will be doing in the role and what the company is all about.

One of the best ways to learn about a company is through social media as many companies have LinkedIn and Twitter pages which are regularly updated. This information helps you pull recent facts into your interview.

Also, read the job description so you know what the role entails and ask questions to the person who is setting up the interview. Examples of good questions are ‘Who are the interviewers? What type of interview questions will they ask? And could you provide information regarding the group I will be interviewing with?’ Be prepared!

Practice but don’t memorize

Don’t walk into your interview and sound rehearsed like a robot. We know when you are providing a rehearsed answer (especially when it doesn’t answer the question we initially asked).

Before your interview think about accomplishments that you are proud of and that you have been recognized for. If it is top of mind then you will remember to bring it up during your interview and tie it into a question that is being asked. Think of it more as talking points rather than practiced answers.

Dress to impress

First impressions count and it is better to be over dressed than under.

I will always remember the candidate who showed up to an interview with a Managing Director in ripped jeans and running shoes at my previous company. His accomplishments were stellar but the way he presented himself was a deal breaker and he wasn’t offered the job.

Plan a wardrobe that fits the culture; if it is a professional setting then dress accordingly.

Be yourself and tell your story

Walk the interviewer through your history and story without giving out too much personal information (i.e. Don’t spend ten minutes talking about where you go to party on the weekends).

Talk about experiences that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Tell real stories and don’t lie about your experiences. Talk about some of the things that interest you outside of school. Are you part of any clubs on campus or part of any teams? For example, you could speak about your experience with Enactus! You can talk about the skills you’ve learned but you can also share great project stories or competition wins!

While much of the decision is based on your skill set and knowledge, there is an element of “fit” as well. You want to show the interviewer that you are someone they will want to work with every day.

Day of reminders

Turn your cell phone off entirely; there is nothing more distracting for the interviewers than hearing a vibrating phone during the interview.

Be on time, there are no excuses for being late. It is good to be in the surrounding area 20 minutes before your scheduled time but don’t show up to reception until 5 minutes before your interview.

Take a deep breath and relax.

During the interview, listen carefully to what the interview is telling you. Be prepared with questions, as it not only shows you are interested but can help you decide if it is a position that you want to pursue.

Finally, ask the hiring manager for their contact information so you can send them a thank you note afterwards.