5 tips to nail the interview

We’ve talked about what to wear (see here and here) – now let’s talk about the interview itself!

You’ve got your resume (we’ll do a post on that later) and you know all of the answers (it’s your life, after all…), now all that you have to do is wow this potential employer with your know-how, skills and your awesome, sparkling personality. Right?

No pressure.

Fortunately, I’ve compiled 5 tips below that should help you in your next interview! Have any tips that you want to share? Leave them in the comments below!

  1. Be YOURSELF. If you pretend to be this perky, upbeat go-getter, when you’d rather just be left alone to do your job… then you’re giving the wrong impression. Be yourself. If the job is right for you, then it will fit. If you’re not a perky person, and the job is for a customer service position… it might be a good idea to look for something that’s a better fit! If you are an overly-enthusiastic talker, let some of that shine in the meeting (in small doses!) – that way, your potential boss knows what they are getting into! (In a good way!) Let your interviewer set the tone – but still take time to show your personality, if possible.
  2. Be PREPARED. Be ready to answer all of those typical questions. Yes, some will take you off guard… but if you’re not ready for “What’s your biggest weakness?” or those other questions that are asked in every. single. interview., it can come across as unprepared. Those are the more “simple” questions, so the answers are a little easier than something really challenging!
  3. Be HONEST. If you realize halfway through the interview that you’re not qualified for the position or it’s something you’re not interested in (within reason), be honest. If it’s entry level, realize that you’ll have to do things you won’t want to do, but if this position is for a social media expert, and your only experience is helping your aunt set up Facebook, and you’ve never even heard of HootSuite… let them know! Some companies will work with you, some will offer training, but some just don’t have that time allowance. Getting a job you don’t want, or aren’t qualified for only hurts you and wastes time. Know your strengths! Be honest on your resume as well; don’t lead them on or overstate what you’re actually hoping to do.
  4. Be FEARLESS. Ask questions. If your interviewer talks in acronyms, make a note and ask them what it means when the opportunity arises. Sometimes people talk in code without realizing it – this will help them show that you’re listening and that you’re taking an active interest in this potential job! I always make a list of questions – what is the company’s expectation for the person who will fill this role? Ask about benchmarks – where will you expect me to be in 6 months? Will I be fluent in the company program? Will I be able to move up in a year? 2 years? What’s the company culture? Are people generally quiet, or will you be a part of a much larger team? Show them your interest in your own future, and that of the company.
  5. Be THANKFUL. This may sound silly, but in this world of technology and emails, handwritten notes go a LONG way. At my last interview, I collected business cards and the next day, I wrote 8 very simple thank you notes. Using notes I took during the meeting, I recalled parts of conversations: “It was so nice meeting you! Say hello to your adorable new puppy for me! We’ll have to catch up over the “coffee” in the break room when I get my first sale” – use a small detail. After I sent out the notes, I got the call to begin working at that job. On my first day, I saw that 4 of those people had my thank you notes hung up in their office. It’s those little gestures that go a long way! Be thankful. Follow up with a note, an email or a call. Taking that time will show them you’re ready to join their team.

Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time!

Mainspring Communications

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