For each possible new opportunity, there is a series of obstacles that stand in our way, one of which is the interview. Interviews can seem terrifying and as though there is no way to prepare. Because of the weight they can hold, they can become overwhelming and ignite anxiety that only makes the process worse. Interviews don’t have to be this way though. There is no reason for your path to success to be one of fear and apprehension. Here are some tips and tricks to help you ace your next interview whether it be in virtual or in person!
Dress to impress
I am a firm believer in the fact that if you look good, you will feel good. Not only will a good outfit that is both professional and appropriate make you feel more comfortable in a workplace environment, but it will also make a good first impression. Before a hiring manager gets to see beyond the surface into how qualified you are, they see what you look like. Do not let your clothing, makeup, and hair make you appear unfit for a professional environment. Wear your hair out of your face so you are not tempted to play with it in a style that you are comfortable with. If you typically rock your natural hair texture, wear your hair naturally. Wear makeup that you feel confident in (this is not the day to try out that new cut crease eyeshadow look you found on Pinterest and have been dying to try). Make sure that your appearance is both neat and professional, but also makes you feel confident.
On top of the stress of an interview, you don’t need the added stress of running late. Plan for everything to go wrong and budget time for it. If you are going to an in-person interview, prepare to be near the interview spot 45 minutes before your scheduled time. Spend that extra time hanging at a nearby café and getting prepared. If you are online, be ready and by your computer with significant time to spare. The last thing you want is technology issues or traffic throwing your day off, but that happens so make time to deal with it. Interviews will bring some stress so provide yourself time beforehand to breathe and not feel like you’re rushing and unprepared.
Do your research
Know where you are interviewing and who you are interviewing with. Whether it be a brief Google or LinkedIn search, those few minutes you spend finding background information will make you feel more comfortable and not blindsided in your interview. I pay particular attention to the company’s mission statement, history, goals, products or services, workplace culture, and any charities or other companies they are affiliated with.
Emphasis your attributes
The interview is about you so show your best self. Take the time to place importance on your finest qualities and passions. Showing how your strengths relate to and feed into the company’s mission statement will make you stand out as a candidate and show how you are perfect for the job. If you feel like you have missed out on highlighting meaningful parts of your resume or character, use the question section to your advantage. If you have a passion for community work, ask how this can continue in this role. Use this portion to shine a light on who you are and establish why you are the perfect candidate for this role.
There is a reason why you got called for an interview. You are qualified and deserving of a great position. What’s standing in your way? Don’t let it be you. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t think of it strictly as an interview but as two people getting to know each other. Approaching interviews as conversations where both people are learning about each other helps me to be more relaxed, learn more about the position, and provide the interviewer with more about myself. Believe that you are the perfect fit for this position and you will come across that way. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself and be confident in who you are.
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst will leave you feeling more prepared for an interview. Present your best self, and be confident in who you are. Even if your interview does not go as you please, take it as a positive experience and a place to learn something. Be confident and I am sure you will rock your interview with these tips and tricks!