I recently published my favorite blog post to date, about how to get what you want this year and you guys loved it. And as most of you know, I’m back on the job market and currently knee-deep in the interview process. (Read this post for the backstory on that…) So in the spirit of keeping the #HustleTips going, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my interview tips with you guys. Interviewing has got to be one of the most stressful/nerve-racking parts of looking for a job, especially if you’re a recent grad like myself. However, after about three job searches and countless interviews in NYC, I think I’m getting pretty good at this whole interview thing and want to share my tips with you guys so that you can also start nailing those interviews too.
Interview Tip #1: Confidence is Key
It’s no secret that a little bit of confidence goes a long way, and interviews are no exception. My mom always tells me to go into an interview like I’ve already got the job and to imagine it’s just a meeting to nail down the details. Now this doesn’t mean to be arrogant, or act like you’re above anyone. It just means to relax, go in with your head held high, speak clearly and be friendly. It helps you shake off those pesky pre-interview nerves that can easily trip you up in an interview. If you go in with the mindset that the job is already yours, it’ll help you act more natural which will help the conversation between you and the interviewer flow better. The key to any interview is to make the person that’s interviewing you believe in you and trust you. After all, they’re looking to give someone a bunch of money to do a job and be around them five days a week. The better the conversation flows, the more likely they are to trust you and see you as part of their company.
True story: I once completely fumbled an interview (one of my first in NYC) because I was so nervous and flustered that I could barely form coherent sentences! It was completely mortifying. Don’t be like me! Just breathe, collect yourself before entering the office, and hold that head high. Exude confidence on the outside even if you may have some doubts on the inside. As the conversation flows you’ll start to loosen up and eventually it’ll be totally natural.
Interview Tip #2: The 6 P’s
My high school cheerleading coach swore by The 6 P’s. In case you aren’t familiar with them, they are: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This basically just means to BE PREPARED. Do your research. Before an interview, I like to read up on the brand that I’m interviewing with. Their ‘about’ page on their website is always a great place to start. You never know if you’ll get that dreaded “what do you know about our company” question in an interview, so it’s best to be able to name at least a couple key things. Then I check out the person who is interviewing me on LinkedIn. This may seem like a bit much, but trust me it helps to know who you’re about to meet with. You may find that you have a common prior work experience or common interest that you can bring up as a talking point in your interview! Plus, in my experience, people are usually pretty impressed when I know things about them from their LinkedIn profile. It shows that you’re thorough and prepared, which is important when interviewing for a position.
But besides doing research, being prepared for an interview also means being physically prepared. Make sure you have multiple copies of your resume on hand and any other relevant paperwork/materials you’ll need. For example, since I’m in the creative field, I always make sure to have my laptop or iPad so I can pull up my online portfolio, as well as a few physical samples of my work. Make sure to get all these things together the night before your interview so you don’t forget anything on your way out the door. Same thing goes for your outfit. Pick it out the day before, make sure everything is clean and wrinkle-free so that in the morning you can get ready with ease!
Interview Tip #3: Don’t forget to follow up
The follow up is SO important! After an interview, make sure that you touch base with your interviewer to thank them for their time. It seems like an old formality but you never know, it could be the difference between you and another candidate that they are deciding between! The follow up doesn’t have to be anything too special. Luckily since it’s 2018, a quick email will suffice. I usually keep it to about 3 – 5 sentences and make sure to end it with “I hope to hear from you soon!” or something to that effect. It’s just a friendly reminder email of who you are and hopefully helps you stand out in their mind. And fine, it’s a bit of a formality. But if done right, it may just give you the edge you need to get that job!
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