We know how exciting and nerve-wrecking it can be to prepare for a job interview, especially if it’s a job you really want. Making sure you’re prepared before, during and after your interview will not only give you the confidence you need, but also help ease those butterflies. Here are a few tips to guide you through and help you shine, all the way to the offer letter.
Before Your Interview
Do your homework. Research the company you’re interviewing with so you can have a smart conversation about the things they care about. Maybe the company is conscientious about the ways they get their product to market, or they’ve got standoutvalues. Check them out on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed to get the inside scoop on their organization, their interview style, and overall culture.
Use LinkedIn. If you have an interview with a hiring manager, either on the phone or face –to-face, you have that person’s name. Take the time to look them up on LinkedIn — not to recite their entire résumé back to them, but to show that you have a level of investment in the position and a genuine curiosity about their professional path that shaped them into becoming such a great leader.
Practice, practice, practice. Talk about projects you’re proud of in a way that gets beyond the short little verbs on your résumé, which let's be honest, are not doing your incredible work justice. Practice answering traditional interview questions in a way that highlights your best work. How did you work through the project? What was the outcome for your team? Most companies ask behavioral based questions. To boost your confidence, check out these practice questions. And If it’s virtual, do a trial run by downloading and testing the virtual software they want you to use prior to your interview.
During Your Interview
Silence is golden. Double check to make sure your personal phone is put away and is off or on silent, a phone call or text can really disrupt an interview.
Be on time. Start off on a high note by being on time for your interview. Make sure to account for traffic, parking and other things that might add time to your commute.
Don’t forget the basics. Bring a copy of your résumé with you.. And always remember that a solid handshake and good eye contact go a long way.
Be yourself. Always lead with authenticity and be professional. Most hiring managers are pretty good at being able to tell when a candidate is disingenuous.
Take your time. Listen carefully to each question you’re asked and give thoughtful, honest answers. Give yourself permission to ask for clarification if you don't understand a question. It is okay to take a few moments before answering.
Wear something that’s uniquely you but be mindful of the brand you’re interviewing with.Do you have a piece that showcases your personality or has a story – such as a broach or a pocket square? Never shy away from a good conversation starter to calm your pre-interview jitters. Every brand has a different “personality” so make sure to tailor your look to the brand you’re interviewing with.
Know that they’re on your side. The person interviewing you is cheering for you to do well, not trying to trip you up. An engaged, enthusiastic and gracious attitude is what your interviewer will remember long after your answers fade.
Come armed with questions. You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Here are a few ideas to Shift your mindset.
After Your Interview
Give thanks. Send a short thank you note via snail mail or email to the interviewer for their time.
Be prompt with post-interview tasks. Ensure you get your background check, drug screen, online assessments done ASAP to expedite the process.