Hello guys, I want to share my tips to master the interview process. I know it is hard to find a job in your chosen field. You are having to compete with hundreds of candidates who are just as smart or even better than you. But that’s not what it is about. It is about how you sell yourself, your skills, and your personality. I graduated college in May 2014 and got my first adult job offer in November of 2014. I went on about 10-15 job interviews. By the 3rd interview I was over it but I wasn’t going to give up on my passion. You only need one yes to start your career path.
- Research, Research, Research
I know you’ve read this before. Research the job and the company you are applying to. I say dig a little deeper. Try to use all of this to your advantage.
- Find information on the interviewer
- Find information on the people in the department (that will not always be possible but for companies who list everyone online. Have fun)
- Research the industry- what’s current trends and problems (be prepared to discuss, try to show that knowledge)
- Research position and industry salary (don’t be afraid to negotiate. I find starting a little higher than your minimum the best option. They may accept your request and if not hopefully you’re still at your minimum. Plus, it’s a power play on their behalf. They could think they got you to lower your minimum when really that lower salary is what you wanted in the first place. (Jokes on you!)
- Have hobbies/life
Show them your other side. These days’ employers do ask about what you do when you’re not at work. Be prepared to have an interesting answer (don’t lie lol). If you cook or you blog, or you love animals. Show that other passion to them. Employers are looking for the full package.
- Ask Questions
When it’s been months after graduation and you still have no job and you’re starting to go crazy. You could possibly accept any job offer and you shouldn’t. Always be thoughtful in your decision. Trust me I understand you are desperate for a start but don’t undercut yourself in the process. In most cases, the sleaziest of companies can present well. The goal is to get past the presentation and get to the real. Just as they want to make sure you are a right fit for them. You need to make sure this is the right place for you. Below are questions I like to ask. Read their body language as they answer. That way you can decipher what’s the truth and what’s for show.
- What is your leadership style?
- What is the department’s strengths and weaknesses?
- How are events and tasks given out? Per person or by group? *maybe say assignments
- How do you enforce accountability in times of error?
- How would you the rate the organization’s leadership from 1 to 10 and why?
- What is the office culture? Are you collaborative? Or more siloed?
- How long is the on-boarding process? How much of it is presented vs. how much is on the job training?
- How do you rate performance?
- How am I evaluated? Is it by the bullets in the job description?
- How can I advance here? Are their growth opportunities here?
- Tell them what you need.
An interview should be done on both sides. That mean discussing your career plans for yourself. Be clear on what you want from this experience. Whether its hands on learning, growth opportunities, or the type of environment you do best in.
- The stuff we all know.
Be friendly, make eye contact, be mindful of your body language, don’t say umm, strong handshake, and all that jazz. Always have your example stories ready at any moment. “Name a time when….”. -I’ve always hated those questions.
I hope this helps!