You submitted your resume and got the interview, now what? At Literally, Darling, we’ve got your back. Here are eight things you should keep in mind before, during, and after your big interview.
1. Do your research. Make sure you fully understand the position you are interviewing for. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the company mission statement and a few key facts about their industry of expertise. Even if you are not asked directly about the company, it’s handy to have a few baseline facts in your back pocket to drop into your conversation. You also want to be ready to ask intelligent questions at the end of your interview, e.g.: “What do I need to be in order to succeed in this job?”, “Tell me more about X project I read about on your website.”, or “What do you see as the greatest challenge to this position and/or your organization as a whole? How can I succeed in overcoming this challenge?”
2. Questions you should be prepared to answer: Tell me about yourself? Why are you leaving your current job? What are your career goals? Weave your narrative and come prepared with a couple go-to stories that can be the answer to these general questions. The better prepared you are, the more confidant you can be in the room.
3. Rehearse in the mirror. Stand in front of your mirror and answer all the questions listed above. Note your posture and your facial expressions, and work until you feel comfortable with the answers you’ve given. It feels silly at first, but you’ll pick up on your conversation strengths and weaknesses you otherwise would not have known about. Play to those strengths.
4. Dress the Part. Whether we like it or not, your appearance is one of the first things your potential future employer will notice about you. Pull your hair out of your face, rock your favorite shoes and look sharp. We recommend leaning towards a more conservative ensemble that has been recently washed and pressed. It’s also important for you to feel comfortable and confident in whatever you choose. That blouse that makes you feel like you run the world? Iron that baby and wear it. Ladies, watch your nail polish color! I am all for trendy bold nail colors, but when it comes to an interview you want to pick something subtle and unnoticable for your nails. You don’t want anything distracting you or your interviewer during the process.
5. Pack lightly. But don’t forget to bring multiple copies of your resume! A pen, your resume, a copy of the job description and a notepad is all you need. It may help to clean out your purse as well, the last thing you want is receipts all over the floor when you go to grab your resume. Most importantly, turn off your cellphone.
6. Be Confidant. If you feel powerful, even if you’re faking it, you’ll be relaxed and confident. Just before your interview, step into the bathroom or use the moments in the elevator to throw back your shoulders, raise your arms in the air and puff out your chest. You are running this show, and the adrenaline from these big movements will give you the momentum you need. Now fix your suit jacket and rock the interview. Check out this great TED talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, before you head out.
7. Be yourself. Chemistry is so important in an interview, because who wants to hire someone they don’t get along with? Be yourself, be genuine, and don’t feel like you need to put on a front to be impressive. Your resume was impressive enough to bring you in, now is the time to be engaging and authentic.
8. Follow up. A couple hours after your interview, follow up with an email. All it needs to be is short and polite, reminding the interviewer why you’d be the best candidate for the position. If you’re unable to ask for your interviewer’s business card or contact information during the interview, the receptionist will most likely be happy to help you out.
Most importantly, remember that you are confident, you are smart, and you are fierce, darlings. Go get em, tiger!
What are your best interview tips? Tweet us @litdarling!
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Fantastic advice Hannah! It’s amazing how much more likely you are to get the job if people connect to you as a person. In my experience even when I haven’t been fully qualified for the job, if we’ve managed to relate to one another, I’ve been hired anyway. I’d also suggest if you know who you’re interviewing with in advance, you do a little research on them. Any chance you have the same alma mater? See that you’ve traveled to the same places from a comment on LinkedIn? Anything to cement that personal connection is key.