Before the Interview:
- Do your research. Research the company, the CEO, the hiring manager, the job position you're interviewing for. Everything. The more you know the better. And if it doesn't make sense, that's okay. They'll be impressed that you researched it.
- Prepare questions for your interviewer. Some suggestions: What have you enjoyed most about working here? What constitutes success at this company and in this position? Do you have any hesitations with my qualifications? What can you tell me about new products in the future/what are your plans for growth with this company? Can you tell me about the teams I will be working with? (speak as if you already have the job)
- Brush up. Brush up on the terminology in your field as well as the latest technologies that might have come up since you last were looking for a job.
- Invest in professional clothing. I had no professional clothes so Pearson and I went to Kohl's the night before my first interview and bought a black blazer. I wore a black dress with a button down over it and the blazer over that.
The Day of the Interview:
- Bring the essentials: A notepad to take notes during the interview, your questions and research, extra copies of your resume, and references.
- Get sleep. It might be tough bet get a good night's sleep before the interview. We need to be getting good sleep anyway and a big part of that is having a good mattress. Check out some mattress reviews here.
- Wear the pantyhose. So when I started getting interviews, I googled "what to wear to an interview" and "business professional attire for women," you know? Well, it turns out women's business professional for women is not very straightforward. Men know they need to wear a suit and tie. Simple. Women can wear a suit but is a tie necessary? What is the women's equivalent of a tie? Pantyhose? Basically, I found out that a skirt suit would be best. But I really didn't want to buy one. And I didn't even own a pair of dress pants. But I also found out that you should not bare skin at an interview. So, yes. Wear the pantyhose. I know nobody wears them these days, but you can never be overdressed, you know. I just hate that women don't have a standard. Talk about sexist. And, when we went shopping for blazers, there was close to nothing to choose from. Men's business attire has it's own section. Women have maybe one rack. Ugh.
- Arrive early. This should go without saying but do everything in your power to get there early. And leave plenty of time for traffic. Especially when you haven't been there before.
During the Interview:
- Be yourself.
- Be confident.
- Sell yourself.
- Ask questions. I already talked about preparing questions, but be sure to ask those questions and any others that come to mind. In a couple of my interviews, the interviewers answered most of my questions before I asked them, but throughout the interview, I thought of some more. Remember, you're interviewing them as well. You have every right to ask questions about the environment and what the job will be like.
- Collect business cards. Or at least names and email addresses of everyone you talk to. You'll be emailing them later, but more on that below.
After the Interview:
- Reward yourself. Get some ice cream or something on the way home. You got through a scary interview. You deserve it!
- Go over your notes. It's always good to refresh your memory right after the interview. Just go over everything again and whatever they told you will stick better. Also, go over your notes again later if you get a second interview or if you end up taking this job. (so be sure to take good notes).
- Organize your info. I interview several places and was contacted for so many more jobs than I actually interviewed with before accepting this job. I had to be organized. So after an interview, I would tear my notes out of my notepad and paper clip them to the job description, business cards, recruiter info, and anything else I had related to that position.
- Send thank you emails. This seemed a little weird to me but I did it anyway. After each interview I sent an email to everyone who interviewed me and thanked them for their time. Be sure to state that you would be glad to work there and you think you would be a great fit. Be specific in why you would be a great fit by repeating some of the things they mentioned in the interview and emphasizing your strengths.
Basically, be prepared, but don't overthink it. Try to relax and be yourself. You are a wonderful and capable person. The perfect fit will come along.
Have you been on any interviews lately? Do you have any funny or interesting interview stories? What would you add to my list of tips?
Thanks for reading!
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