It can be difficult to get a good job right out of college. It can be even more difficult for those who are still in college. Between classes, studying for exams, and writing huge research papers, who has time to search for a job?

But in the off chance that you do secure an interview, you shouldn’t shrug it off. This is an important chance to establish yourself and create a path for your future career. If you’re a busy student, it’s more important than ever to plan ahead.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your interview while you are still in college.

1. Give yourself enough time to plan

When you’re asked to schedule an interview with an employer, make sure you plan it for a convenient time. Nothing is worse than rushing from your class straight to a job interview without giving yourself time to prepare. You want to make sure you have plenty of time available around the interview so you can get ready and refresh your knowledge of your resume before meeting the recruiter.

2. Dress appropriately for WallStreet

You need to dress professionally to make a good first impression. These are especially important because you’re applying for a job on Wall Street which is the most competitive place on Earth. You’ll need to be on top of your game for this. This is true even if you are applying for a part-time gig at a fast-food restaurant. If you aren’t sure what kind of work environment the company follows, it’s better to err on the side of business professional. Wear a nice outfit on the day of your interview, especially if you have to go straight to your appointment from a previous class.

3. Bring copies of your resume

Coming prepared gives off a great first impression. Remember, you are looking to impress them as much as you can. Even if they have copies of your resume on hand already, it is still a good rule of thumb to bring at least 5 hard copies with you. That way, you can hand them out to additional interviewers or use one to reference when talking about relevant job experience.

4. Act polite and professional

Being positive, professional, kind, and engaged is important at all times during the interview. Since you want to give off a good first impression, it’s a good idea to be nice from the moment you step into the office, smiling to everyone you meet. Be attentive and courteous while you speak to the recruiter. This shows that you have an active interest in the job and you can be relied on to pay attention and show passion for the company.

5. Put your phone on silent

Nothing looks more unprofessional than having your phone ring or buzz in the middle of a job interview. But what’s worse? Answering it.

Never answer or look at your phone during an interview. 

Put your phone on silent or turn it off completely before you meet with the interviewer. If you forget, and it does happen to buzz or ring, do not answer it. Simply apologize, turn the phone off, and put it away.

6. Follow up with a thank-you email

After the interview is complete, your job isn’t done yet. When you go home, immediately send a thank-you email to the recruiter and job interviewer. Let them know that you are grateful that they took the time to talk to you. Mention that you are interested in the position and you look forward to hearing back from them soon.

This gives your interview experience a little bit of an extra professional touch. Following up shows that you are actively interested and unafraid to pursue the role. This will definitely put you on top in comparison to the other candidates.

Wall Street Interview Tips for College Students