You asked and now I am delivering! Last week on Instagram, I announced how I started a new job (exciting right!?) Additionally, I asked if any of you would like me to post advice on how to stand out on your next interview. The response was incredible! I am by no means an expert. Nonetheless, there are several take aways that I have from the dozens of interviews I have been on:
Do your research. This starts by doing some homework on the company you are going to be interviewing for. Check out reviews from Glassdoor to read what people have said about the business. All of these reviews have to be taken with a grain of salt but looking at Glassdoor reviews allow you to get a sense of how a business operates. Make sure you get to your interview at least 15-20 minutes early so you can fill out any necessary paperwork. This also gives your some extra time to observe the waiting room. See what literature is available. I like to do this because it gives me an idea of what the company values.
Be engaged. In addition to learning about the business you are interviewing for, you need to show your potential employer that you are engaged and eager about the position you are applying for. That being said, do not leave an interview without asking any questions. This will show the person you are interviewing for that you are engaged and listening to the needs of the business. Additionally, you are interviewing the business too. Ask questions so YOU can confirm that you are a fit to work there. It’s ok to say no to a business that you do not feel you will excel in. I like to write down a list of 3-5 questions on a notebook the night before an interview so that I can have them prepared. This prevents from scrabbling your thoughts during an interview. Bring that notebook with you and a pen. As the interview progresses, write down questions or thoughts that come to mind during the interview. You can reference them later when you are deciding on how you feel about the business. Some questions you might want to ask during your first interview can include:
- How is the turnover rate here?
- What has keep you at _________ for _____ years?
- What are some things that _________ does to boost morale?
- Can you describe what daily tasks are to be completed for this role?
- I read a review on Glassdoor that was on the negative side. Can you comment on it?
- Does this job require travel?
- What percent of my day would be spent at the office/on the phone/with clients?
* Questions regarding salary, benefits, etc are to be discussed during your SECOND interview. Refrain from asking questions in this capacity as it gives off the impression that your only concern is money and not to fulfill the needs of the position available.
Smile! This seems like a silly piece of advice but it is important to address. You want this job you are interviewing for right? If so, smile! Be friendly and approachable. It’s ok if you are nervous (we all go through it) but do not let your nervousness leave the wrong impression. Smile and take a deep breath. Several deep breaths if needed. I promise you, the person interviewing you is not going to bite your head off (lol).
Dress well. A little cliché but here me out. In order to be taken seriously, you need to dress correctly to demand the right attention. Ladies, I recommend a blazer and work pants. If you choose to wear a dress, make sure that it is no more than 3 inches above your knee. There are people who will hire a woman for all the wrong reasons. Make sure that you are hired for the right ones by dressing professionally. Above else, wear comfortable shoes! You may have a chance to have a tour of the business. Your feet will thank me! Men, wear a blazer if you have one. If not, a button up shirt will suffice with dress pants and a belt. Do not forget to tuck in your shirt. Avoid the following during an interview:
- Sleeveless tops
- Tank tops
- Sheer tops
- Facial piercings – if you have them, take them off before an interview.
- Tattoos – it is ok if you have them but make sure they are covered.
- Open toes shoes/sandals/flip flops
Relax. Be good to yourself the night before an interview. Have your outfit picked out and ready to go for the next day. Be sure to get plenty of rest by going to be bed early. Above all, relax. Put on a face mask or take a warm shower before you go to bed. Preparing yourself the night before will help to alleviate some stress.
So when do you know if you should take the job? Trust you gut. If for any reason, something does not feel right, it probably isn’t. Do not ignore your intuition. Talk over the interview with a loved one and look over your notes. If it seems right, accept the job. Otherwise, it is ok to say no. When you accept a job, you should feel like it is one that will allow you to advance in your career as well as make your feel valued. Now take these tips and go show the world how amazing you are. You got this loves!