Interviewing for a job is something not many of us do very often, so when the time comes for an interview, you can feel a little rusty and not on top of your A-game. Whether an employer has contacted you out of the blue, or you’re on the active job hunt, it’s always a good thing to brush up on your interviewing skills so you can make a stellar first impression and nail that interview, or better yet – a job!
Since quitting my job a month ago I have become somewhat of an expert in interviewing and thought I would share with you all a few interviewing tips that will help you feel more prepared and confident.
1. Don’t just skim the job description
If you’re going in for an interview you need to know exactly what your role would be if you were hired. Even if the job posting is lengthy, invest the time to read it before your interview. You’ll be glad you did and so will the person interviewing you. In addition, reading the job description thoroughly will help identify any questions you might have once you are invited for an interview.
2. Research the company and know why you want to become apart of it
Remember that the employer may have called you in for an interview, but as a potential employee of their company, you should also be researching them too. Don’t only look into their “About” page or company page, but really dive deeper and become familiar with their clients, work, website, and social media accounts. Oftentimes you will find more information about a company and why you do or do not want to become apart of it by doing an extra half hour of research.
Once you have become more familiar with their company, brand, and mission, think about how you could contribute as a potential member of their team and why you should become apart of their company. If you’re not quite sure how you can bring value to this new company or team, maybe you should rethink your commitment to an interview.
3. Anticipate what questions they might ask
Everyone’s least favorite question is, “So, tell me about yourself!” I feel like most people hate this question because they aren’t sure what to say. If you anticipate the commonly asked questions beforehand and are prepared on what your answer will be, your interview will be sure to run more smoothly.
4. Always ask questions
An interview is an opportunity for you to really get to know the company and people you might be working with in the future. Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions. In fact, most employers would PREFER if you asked a few questions. Asking questions shows that you are engaged, prepared, and invested into their company or organization.
At the very minimum, here are a few questions you should ask:
- Can you describe what my day-to-day would look like?
- Why do you like working for XYZ Company?
- What is your favorite thing about your job?
Avoid asking any questions pertaining to salary or benefits until you are further along in the interview process. Your first interview should showcase why you are intrinsically motivated to be apart of a company.
5. Don’t be afraid to be yourself
While you may be nervous during an initial interview, try to make yourself feel comfortable and don’t be afraid to be yourself! You should never shy away from who you are as a person in front of your interviewer. In fact, companies are realizing that it’s better to hire people for their personalities and culture fit rather than a specific skill set.
According to Business Insider, companies should “focus on finding a person who likes to learn and is eager to get better. These are the people who can be turned into great workers. Even if the person has a fraction of the experience that you wanted for the job, you’ll find yourself having to deal with fewer problems if you bank on their good nature rather than their long resume.”
The best advice I was ever given was from my mom: don’t ever be afraid to be confident in yourself and who you want to be. Go into an interview with confidence in your skills, abilities, and talents. Never be afraid to ask questions or show who you really are! Best of luck to any of you ladies on the hunt for a new job!