So you finally got an interview… but now what?! Interviewing is a skill that is honed over time and if you have been out of the workforce for some time or are looking to make a career change, odds are yours are a little rusty.
Here are some tips to oil-up your interview gears to make interviewing with confidence an attainable goal.
Do Your Research
Do your homework about a company before attending an interview. This will not only give you a feel for a company’s practices but will also give you knowledge about the founders, mission, and history—all great talking points during an interview. Find genuine ways to connect—sound scripted or rehearsed can be off-putting to potential employers. You can find valuable information about companies on LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Glassdoor is particularly helpful to get an inside scoop on how a company treats its employees.
There are commonly asked questions in most interviews and it’s important to prepare for these predictable questions. Why do you want to work here? What are you looking for in a job? What are your strengths and opportunities? Come up with succinct and positive answers to these questions so you feel confident when more challenging questions are presented. Prepare to discuss your weaknesses, your career gap (if you have one), and why you would like to change careers (if you are pivoting).
You are Interviewing Them, Too
Don’t forget that you are also trying to get a sense of the company in this exchange. When given the opportunity to ask your interviewer questions, try, What do you like about working here? If the interviewer pauses, that pause could be telling of how they really feel about the company. Some other favorites are: What challenges are you facing as a team/company? What exciting projects are on the horizon?
Interviewers love getting questions as it shows enthusiasm and interest. The questions should communicate you have done research beyond the company website. Brush up on news about the company.
Be Virtually Prepared
Most initial interviews these days are done via video conferencing. Be sure to look professional both personally and in your background. Keep background noise in check by choosing a quiet place and preparing for dogs, yard, work, and babies to be cared for during this time. While showing our lives behind the scenes had become more normal, it still doesn’t make the best first impression. Think about good lighting!
Send a Thank You
Within 24 hours of your interview, send an emailed thank you note. Snail mail simply can not compete with today’s quick turnaround time and while they are certainly more special, the lag in reception is not worth the risk. A simple note with a brief mention of something interesting you discussed during the interview is a great way to show respect and continued interest.
Bonus tip: Confidence
Do whatever you need to do to feel confident! Do a power yoga class, do 50 jumping jacks, spend time meditating or reciting self-affirmations, heck… drink your favorite smoothie! It is important to carve out time to truly feel like your best self.
What would you add to this list? Comment on on our LinkedIn post here.
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