Quote of the Day: “Money alone doesn’t motivate me. Having a purpose does.”
Finding a job is hard. Interviewing for a job is even harder…in my opinion. If you’re a naturally extroverted human-being, then I’m sure you have no problem with interviews, but if you’re anything like me, then you know how nerve-racking it is every single time you have an interview. To me, an interview feels like an oral presentation, but with just one person. I swear, before each interview, I feel sick to my stomach. I get so nervous and literally cannot focus on anything else.
With that being said, I have been interviewing a lot recently, both in-person and on the phone, and I’m not going to lie, I still get dead nervous before, but it has gotten a lot easier. Like everyone says, “practice makes perfect” and that definitely applies to interviews. Today, I thought I would share my top interview tips that have helped me survive interviews and even land jobs.
Tips For Interviews:
- Prepare Questions and Answers Ahead: I’ve come to realize that interviewers ask the same basic questions no matter what the role is. Depending on the job, companies may ask more behavioral questions or more technical questions, but they’re all pretty much the same. A few days before my interview, I create a list of questions that I will most likely be asked. You can even search “most asked interview questions” and you’ll get hundreds of results. After I have my list of questions, I come up with responses that fully answer the question, but are succinct and don’t go off track.
- Practice Saying Your Answers Out Loud: Great, you have your questions and you have your answers. Now, you have to actually rehearse those answers so it comes naturally. You don’t have to memorize your answers verbatim to what you wrote down, but get a general idea of what you’ll say and how you’ll say it. Knowing what you’ll say really helps with the nerves…trust me.
- Research The Company: A lot of companies will ask what you know about them and why you want to work for them. To be honest, I have definitely gotten stuck on the “What do you know about us?” question and I have had moments of panic. You have to research the company beforehand and just memorize a few things from their website.
- Ask Friends: If you know friends who are working at the company or have worked at the company you’re interviewing with, ask them about it. Ask them the type of questions they were asked and ask them how they responded to the questions.
- Be Prepared To Ask Questions: Interviewers will ALWAYS ask you if you have any questions and you HAVE TO ask questions. Come up with around five questions to ask ahead of time just in case you don’t come up with any questions during the interview.
- Dress To Impress: First impressions are everything and the way one dresses is part of that first impression. You want to look polished and professional no matter what the position is. Blue jeans are big no-no…unfortunately, but sometimes you can get away with wearing black jeans or white jeans. My favorite places to buy “professional” clothes are Madewell, J. Crew, & J. Crew Factory.
- Arrive A Few Minutes Early: Nothing is worse than being late to an interview. Yeah, traffic is a thing, but you should still be arriving to your interview at least 5-10 minutes early. I honestly get to the location 20-30 minutes before my interview and just sit in the car. I don’t want the stress of “Am I going to be late?”
- Smile and Be Friendly: Ugh no one likes to be around people who seem like they don’t want to be there or just have a negative attitude. Don’t be that person at all. Smile and just act friendly. Show the interviewer that you want to be there and are excited to be talking to them.
- Write A Follow Up “Thank You” Email: After your interview, you HAVE TO write a follow up email (a few hours after). It doesn’t have to be long at all, just say thank you to the interviewer for taking time out of their day to meet with you. Also mention why you’re interested in the position and why you’d be a good fit for the position. It shows the interviewer that you’re eager and excited.
- Remain Calm: Yeah interviews are terrifying, but you have to go through it, so just do it. Don’t think about it too much and everything will be okay. Trust me, I’m the biggest worrier ever when it comes to interviews, but I try and remain as calm as possible and nothing bad has ever happened.
I hope these tips help with your next interview. I am the most awkward person and literally just laugh when I’m uncomfortable. You really can’t be more awkward than I am. Go crush it out there!