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Scandalous Interviews: How Olivia Pope Would Fix Common Interview Mistakes

Who doesn’t love a little scandal now and then (or every Thursday at 9pm)? But, let’s make sure you’re not the one committing the scandals come interview season. Here are some interview tips we can take away from the boss of handling scandals herself…1

  1. Display confidence; but be sure to not come off as arrogant or self-centered. Show confidence in your body language—sit up tall, make eye contact, and avoid fidgeting. Be confident like Olivia, but leave her diva side at home. 2
  1. Style can define you in an interview—make sure you’re defining the right thing. Wear something you feel confident in. Dress to impress, but keep it simple and classy. Ladies—here’s my favorite blog for business style outfits (she explains each outfit—accessories and all, AND even tells you where she bought them!) 3
  1. Employers like to hear specific examples of past work/life experiences when you’re answering questions. I had to practice and mock interview many times before I understood the sweet spot of answering questions too short or too long. Go into each interview knowing your strengths, your weaknesses, and specific past experiences that you can speak well about to answer questions. Paint the picture for the interviewer and give detail, but avoid rambling and using all your ammo in one question. Like Olivia says, you always want to have cards left to play.
  2. Be prepared to negotiate your salary. So, I’m currently job searching and interviewing right now as well. Someone was prepping me on interviews and gave me this piece of advice, and my jaw dropped! I thought, “What?! I can’t tell someone how much I’m worth, I don’t even know what I’m worth!”. So, I did some research. I looked up what people with my degree and similar jobs earn on average. Then, I added up all my post-college expenses (student loans [cringe], rent, utilities, car payments/insurance, groceries, and entertainment). Knowing how much my profession makes on average, plus knowing how much money I need to not live paycheck-to-paycheck, really helped me feel confident with the scary idea that I may have to negotiate my salary. Here’s where we leave Olivia’s diva side at home; yes future employer, you can afford me—but I know my worth and I’m going to ask for it!4



And lastly, here’s some fast facts of other common mistakes in interviews:

  1. Failing to research a company
  2. Not being yourself
  3. Failing to take the opportunity to ask questions
  4. Talking negatively about previous employers/professors
  5. Not knowing your cover letter and resume like the back of your hand
  6. Looking at cell phones/checking the time5
  7. Overall, there’s tons of interview tips and tricks out there, and I think the most important thing is to listen to everyone’s advice, then choose what work for you based on your personality, morals, and values. Remember, you’re interviewing your employer during interviews as well. You want to make sure they are the right fit for you, just as much as they are making sure you’re the right fit for them.



#KeepCalmAndEmailCareerServices. Let Olivia Pope stick to handling her D.C. scandals, and let SPH Career Services handle yours! The IU SPH Career Services has an extremely helpful Interview Intervention program—to schedule, log on to CareerLink or email

  ShelbyDietz_BioPicShelby is currently a second year graduate student in the School of Public Health studying Physical Activity, Fitness, & Wellness. She is working on campus at IU Recreational Sports as a Group Exercise Graduate Assistant. Fitness is her biggest passion in life, and she hopes to ignite that passion in others.



Categories: Interview

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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