So you’ve landed the big interview – now what? Ok, yes, dig out, Febreze, and iron your magical interview outfit. After that’s all set it’s time to go get your mind right. Study, study, study!
Here are RoxxyWrites’ top five pre-interview hacks to push you one step closer to landing your next big gig:
Step 1. Do a quick email search to find everything you’ve sent this company thus far. Find the exact resume and cover letter version you submitted when you applied for the position. If you’ve been reading along, you already know you should be tweaking your resume and cover letter to match each position you go after. Do a quick read through so you’re familiar with what you’ve already told them. There’s nothing like being stuck, looking like a deer in headlights, because the interviewer asked you about some obscure bullet from a resume version 10 revisions ago. It makes you look dishonest, and a bit silly. Don’t get caught out there.
Step 2. Pull up the initial ad and/or job description and compare it to the resume you sent in. Make a note of the first three to five duties and skills requested for the role. Now, refer back to your resume and make direct connections that illustrate how awesome you are at each. Take it one step further and write out specific examples from your work history that prove you are the ideal candidate. It may sound a little extra but, hey, you want this job and writing these examples out can help you commit them to memory. After that, get in front of a mirror and practice saying those same examples. Yes, OUT LOUD. Look, I know, but even the smoothest person can get nervous or thrown off during a big interview. Just do it and thank me later.
Step 3. Run an internet search for the most recent company news and events. Check out LinkedIn, the company website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, all of the usual suspects to get a good idea of what’s going on. Pay special attention to the information that applies most directly to the job you’re pursuing. Have there been any recent changes in management within your prospective department? Was there a recent acquisition? Just squirrel these little tidbits away, you never know when an opportunity to showoff how informed you are. If you drop this kind of information at the right time you will look like a rock star. You can never be sure what little detail is going to push you over the top.
Step 4. Take what you’ve learned and jot down a few thoughtful questions. If the interview is going well, there’s usually a point towards the end where the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. This is NOT the time to ask about the holiday party location or when your vacation kicks in. This is a super important part of the process. This is your final chance to show them that you understand what the position entails as well as the company and industry. It shows that you took the time to do your homework and that you will bring that same initiative this role if you are selected. Be careful though, the key is to show your interest so don’t come off as lazy by asking questions that can be found on the company website.
Step 5. Identify the weaker parts of your history and practice how you plan to address them if asked. Nobody’s perfect, but remember you’re in control; the interviewer only knows what you tell them. By no means am I suggesting you lie, but, think of ways you can turn negatives into positives. For example, if you’re asked about gaps in your resume, talk about something productive you did during that time that would be beneficial in this position. Maybe you volunteered or pursued some professional development to gain more experience. The most important thing here is to be aware and prepared. If you’re uncomfortable or start to ramble you will draw even more negative attention to an already tricky situation. If all else fails, be confident and calm and the interviewer will be too.
Are you sensing a trend here? That’s right, Be Prepared! You want to make sure you come off as knowing yourself, the company, position, and how you can enhance it. Many interviewers view your level of preparation in direct correlation to how you will approach the position as well as how you will perform as an employee. Follow these five steps and you will have a better chance of success at your next interview.