Interview Series, Pt 2: Entering the Interview (7 Tips)
Now that you read part 1 on how to prepare yourself before an interview, we're going to talk a little bit more about the big day. Follow these tips to help you maximize your face-to-face time with your potential employer.
KNOW what's on your resume. This sounds obvious, but sometimes people get a little, uh, creative with their resumes. Be prepared to answer any and all questions related to positions and job responsibilities you've held.
Speak clearly and with confidence. Umm ... so you really wanna try to, like, avoid using the words "umm" and "like." You are incredibly intelligent, and the valley girl act is going to hide that fact. Using filler words makes you sound unsure of yourself. If you need a second to think before you answer, here's what you should do instead of saying UMM: Look at the interviewer directly in the eyes, smile and say, "That's a great question" or "I'm glad you asked that question." That gives you a quick second to collect your thoughts without an awkward silence.
Sit up straight. Mom said it a thousand times, and she's right. (But really, when was she ever wrong?) You will absolutely look your best with your shoulders back and your head high. Slouching makes you look powerless and small. Not a good look on anyone.
Be ready for common questions. There is a laundry list of typical interview questions. Be prepared for some of the hardest ones like:
Can you tell me a little about yourself? This question can be a tough one. Now is NOT the time to talk about your Game of Thrones obsession. Think about the job position, and discuss your personal values or hobbies as they relate to the actual job.
Can you tell me about a time when you failed? Be honest and make sure you don't place blame on anyone else. It looks petty. Tell a story about a time you failed and learned from it. They know everyone makes mistakes, but they're looking for people who use those mistakes as an opportunity for improvement.
Ask fantastic questions. This is typically overlooked when preparing for an interview. At some point near the end of the interview, the interviewer will look at you and ask, "Do you have any questions for me?" Please don't shrug and say, "I don't think so." According to psychologists, someone is going to find you more likable if you ask them questions about themselves. So ask questions like:
What is your favorite part about working here?
Can you tell me a little about the team I'll be working with?
What are the long-term, big-picture goals for this company?
What qualities do I need in order to succeed in this position/company?
I see that your company recently made XYZ accomplishment. Can you tell me more about that?
Do your homework. Go to the company's website, read their blogs, check out their social media. That is the best way to understand what's important to them and get a feel for their culture. This will also help you come up with fantastic questions to ask the interviewer.
Be present. Smile; be friendly and approachable. Also listen. This sounds obvious but sometimes it's easy to get distracted if you're nervous. While the interviewer is speaking, fully listen, make eye contact, and nod your head in understanding.
Our final tip? Be amazing! You're going to do great.