10 Ways to Ace the Interview

For many, the word “interview” is akin to “interrogation”. It conjures up images of sitting face-to-face with cops smoking cigars, all the while sweating beneath scorching yellow lights.

Add the word “job” to the word “interview,” and suddenly it’s an all-out panic. As human beings who seek approval above all else, the idea of presenting oneself to a stranger in the hopes of receiving something as significant as employment rightly comes with a fair amount of anxiety. Luckily for you, we have a few super simple life hacks to help you get the job. So take a deep breath, relax, and let’s dive in!

  1. 1. Show up on time.

    coffee in a blue pattern mug next to an analog alarm clock

    Scratch that, show up early! You don’t want to walk in all frazzled. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. Give yourself time for traffic, construction, broken elevators, Harry Styles spottings. There’s no worse indicator that you will be an irresponsible employee than showing up late. Punctuality, ladies!

  2. 2. Pre-game.

    We all know that preparation is one of the most important ways to ensure we are successful at whatever we do. Scientists have done a ton of great research that proves what we do with our own bodies affects our brains. If you can, sit in your car five minutes before the interview with your hands on your hips and a smile on your face.

  3. 3. Dress to impress.

    For a time, I worked in an office with a group of ladies. They would often take bets on who would/wouldn’t be hired by the company solely based on how the applicant dressed (harsh, I know). No, you don’t have to wear a pantsuit. That said, dress how you would to meet your boyfriend’s parents for the first time. No ripped jeans. No t-shirts. In general, you should have your hair under control, piercings kept to a minimum and a non-existent bad body odor. 

  4. 4. Look them in the eye.

    Women in an interview

    Scientists and psychologists will tell you that looking someone in the eye indicates confidence and assertiveness. People inherently pick up on other people’s personalities through body language and social cues. Looking someone in the eye indicates power. Use that!

  5. 5. Posture.

    We want to use every psychological trick in the book. This particular trick doesn’t even take much effort. When you think about a queen in a room versus her subjects, you imagine a woman who sits tall and still as opposed to subjects shrinking in their seats. Go into the interview as the queen and sit in your seat like it’s a throne.

  6. 6. Ask questions.

    You should be asking lots of questions throughout the interview. It demonstrates interest as well as informs the employer that you took the time to critically think about your role in the workplace and how you fit in. 

  7. 7. Research the company.

    Person in yellow sweater typing

    Coming back to that idea of preparation, researching the company is important for several reasons. First and foremost, you want to know if you want to work with the company or not! Second, you want to have great questions that address the company’s value systems, what they offer the world and what they will offer you as an employee. Your prior research shows your interviewer that you cared enough to invest your own time and come into the room with as much knowledge as possible. That indicates a smart, highly-employable person.

  8. 8. Don't trash your previous employer.

    Let’s be real: you probably wouldn’t have left your previous employer if you were entirely happy. We’ve all had terrible managers and rude coworkers, but that’s not something to bring up in an interview. It’s all about being professional, so keep your “creative differences” surface level. If the interviewer presses the issue, speak as maturely and delicately as possible. Trust me, your interviewer will get what you mean.

  9. 9. "I really want this job."

    Employers know that you are on the hunt for work and likely going to numerous interviews. Indicating that you are extremely interested in the job is just an added bonus that alerts your future employer that you are excited, motivated, and eager to start. They are looking to fill their position with someone who wants to be there. Ending the interview on this positive note can only count as a win. 

  10. 10. Don't forget the "thank you" note.

    Letter and envelope

    Always send along a "thank you" note (handwritten if possible!) the moment you get out of the interview. Thank the interviewer, HR, and any other individuals you interacted with. This reiterates how interested you are in the position as well as indicates dedication and common courtesy. It’ll leave them with a great lasting impression that will make you stand out from other qualified candidates. 

Most importantly, remember that as much as the employer is interviewing you, you are interviewing them. Should they choose to hire your fabulous self, this could be a place you spend upwards of forty hours a week. You’ve only got one life; don’t waste a large portion of it anywhere that you don’t enjoy. Go into the interview with the mindset that you will do your best. If your prospective employer doesn’t do the same, pack it up and take that queen energy somewhere else. You got this!