Interviewing is never easy. If you don’t have some butterflies when you go to one as an applicant, then you may not be human. No matter how many you go on, you’ll always be a little nervous just because of the excitement and newness and you’re usually meeting someone for the first time. That’s all pretty stressful.
Want to know the “secrets” to a successful interview? Here they are:
Research and practice.
That’s it. There’s no fancy formula or acronym to memorize. Just plain ol’ research and practice.
When researching a company, focus on the About Us page. You don’t have to be an expert about the company but you should know the basics: what the company does, the mission statement, popular products and some of the historical information. If the industry is complicated or you just don’t really understand WHAT is being offered, that’s ok too. You can ask for more information in the interview. You just want to look into the company as much as you can before meeting with the recruiter. There is nothing worse than doing an interview with someone that has no idea what the company is about or even what the name of the company is (no lie – that has happened).
Pull parts of the information you gathered and find out how you will fit into the company, if hired. Right now it’s an employers’ market meaning that there are more applicants than jobs. A person who gets offered a job is the one who has demonstrated how they will be an asset to the company. If you don’t take the time to find out about the company, the company doesn’t want to find out about you.
Practice your interview skills. You can find some questions online and then work on your responses in front of a mirror. Seeing yourself answer questions will help you know what kind of nervous ticks you are doing. We all do them, we just have to recognize them and try to dull them down. Mine is to talk a LOT with my hands. When I would go on interviews, I made a conscience effort to keep my hands in my lap and minimize the use of my hands. I haven’t perfected it yet, but I’m aware of it. Another more drastic way to practice is to apply to jobs that you are not interested in. Not only will you get some real-world practice with answering questions that could be asked but it could open doors for you. A job is a job is a job, right? Plus, you get that boost in confidence when you do a good job or even get a job offer. Every opportunity is worth a second look when you’re looking for a job. You don’t know the plans for the company. You might apply for a position but it could open many doors for you. The recruiter could also refer you to someone else if you wow them enough. No matter how you end up practicing for interviews, the point is for you to get comfortable with answering the questions you’ll face.
If you think about the interview as a conversation, you don’t get as nervous. You do have to prepare and always be ready for surprises. The employer wants to “test” you sometimes. I once went on an interview expecting one person and myself, it ended up being four people and me in a conference room. Your comfort level shows when you are confident in yourself and how well you interview.
I offer one-on-one interview coaching sessions at an introductory price of $75 for one hour. You get a mock interview, tips and critiques, and one month of email follow-up. Sign up today – Space is limited!
Don’t Lose Hope,