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Interview Tips: to help you feel confident

Interview Tips: to help you feel confident

One of the hardest things for me is hob interviews; as they can go so many different directions but I learned some great interview tips. It feels like we’ve been on the topic of job hunting forever but don’t worry we are almost all done. I talked about what to do before applying, How to hunt for jobs, work-life balance, and a few other things. Now let’s talk about the interview process. Interviews are super stressful because you only get one opportunity at them and it is all in real-time. You can’t re-read your words, or erase what you said. An Interview is an employer’s first impression of who you really are and what type of worker you will be. 

As scary as interviews are, there are tons of easy prep for them! Plus as someone who sat in on a few interviews, I learned a few things that have impressed me/other interviewers as well as a few things that have left negative impacts. So I have gathered a pretty large list of my interview tips that I have learned to hopefully help you succeed and nail your job interview. 

  1. Bring a copy of your resume, cover letter, and anything that you want them to have a hard copy of. Especially if you have been able to add it. 
    • If you have a portfolio you can always add things onto a CD or Flash Drive 
    • If you are printing out your resume or cover letter pay a little extra to have it printed on nice paper. 
  2. Arrive on time. 
    • My dad always says “arriving an hour early is better than 1 minute late” 
    • If you are me 15 minutes is a safe bet
  3. Make sure you look presentable and your hygiene is good. 
    • I say hygiene because when I get super stressed I sometimes forget deodorant…and I know a few people who forget to brush their teeth or check to make sure that they have nothing in their teeth 
    • Look presentable. I always follow the rule of Dressing for the job you want, not what you are interviewing for. 
    • Especially with Zoom Meeting make sure you look good on camera (I recommend setting up a practice one prior so you know how you look to the other person on the screen. You want to make sure the lighting go is good and even what is in the background is not too distracting as you pretty much have to have your camera on for Zoom calls. 
  4. PHONE(S) AWAY
    • If you are going to bring your phone to an interview please make sure it’s either on Do not Disturb, Silence, Airplane mode, or even off. 
    • It’s even better if you don’t bring it in so you are not distracted 
    • And yes if you have a smartwatch please put that on do not disturb mode
  5. Look up who you are meeting if possible. 
    • This may sound crazy but it helps to know who is going to be there. Just in case you bump into them on the way in or maybe they have a birth defect that you may find yourself staring at the whole interview. Anything that will help you feel confident and focused in the interview I fully support 
  6. If it can be avoided do not answer questions with just a simple yes or a no 
    • Being detailed and able to back up your answers shows that you care about the job and really want it. For example “I saw you found us on Indeed is that true?” “Yes I did, I also looked up the company’s website prior to applying to learn more and make sure I felt like I was a good fit for this position.” 
  7. Ask Questions when you have questions. 
    • If they explain something that you do not fully understand ask them to elaborate or explain it again or differently. 
    • You want to walk out of there feeling confident not just in the interview but also in the place you applied to. 
  8. Ask they have any concerns or questions in your application or interview that you can help answer. 
    • When applicants did this it would make me so happy, because it showed they truly cared about the job and wanted to start off on a good foot 
    • It also shows that you understand that people interpret things differently and you want to make sure you are understood. 
  9. Do not be afraid to take notes
    • I always encourage people to take notes so they can reference what we talked about and reviewed. 
    • Interviews can be long and often cover a lot of information which may make it really hard to memorize everything and even just the shock of an interview may not help you memorize all the information. 
  10. Do not pry about Salary, Benefits, or other company perks. 
    • This is not the time to start negotiations and you come off as cocky. 
    • A company may briefly discuss the benefits to help sell you on why you should choose them prior to the offer letter, but do not hang on it. You will have time to review all this when you get your offer letter. 
  11. Remember to stay Calm and Relaxed
    • We do not just judge or review the answers you give but also the body language you give off. So if you appear fidgety and stress; you may give off the vibes that you handle high-pressure situations poorly. 
  12. Understand that there may be multiple interviews 
    • I know that it sounds crazy but a lot of places may bring in 20 applicants and then slowly narrow down the applicants. Sometimes with a phone interview then an in-person interview. 
    • This is why I think it is so important to take notes so you can follow up on what you said and build off your previous questions  and answers 
  13. Practice makes perfect 
    • Do a mock interview with your friends or family or even find a place online that can help. Not everyone does amazing in these types of situations so it does really help that you have to just understand how an interview works. 
  14. Do not be afraid to get personal
    • A lot of employees when they are hired have to go through a probation period. Now, this may not shock a lot of people but for some, it may. So every move you do is put under a microscope and reviewed so taking a day off may not be the best look. However, if you disclose “I have kids or and recovering from a car accident” A sick day or needing to leave early looks more like oh their child is sick  and it’s probably his turn to watch them or they need to leave early for that follow up doctor’s appointment 
    • It also gives you an opportunity to build a connection to the people interviewing you and them thinking oh they are going to fit in just fine here. 
    • I say this because I did it. I was in an interview and the interviewer brought up when I was able to take a vacation day etc. I said, unfortunately, that may cause a slight problem for me; as I have a trip booked in November for my dad’s 50th birthday it is a surprise. It ended up with us talking about traveling and vacations. And the interviewer appreciated my honesty, and my being so forthcoming with my information. I did end up getting a job offer too. 
  15. Finish Strong. Be unforgettable. 
    • The best way to do this is to show interest in the opportunity and the company here are a few questions/topics that help do that. 
      • Can you walk me through a Typical Day here at the office? 
      • What Type of Employee Tends to succeed here? 
      • Is there anything that I should know that we did not cover about working here? 
      • What makes people stay here at the company? 
      • Can you describe the company atmosphere as dynamic? 
      • How will my performance be reviewed? 

Now I know all of these may not apply to your interview situation but I hope that you are able to take a deep breath and know that I am here to help. Now please do not be discouraged if you do not get the job, a better opportunity is coming for you. Just keep your head up and whatever you do please do not give up. I promise you everything is going to work out exactly how it should. You just have to believe it. Now keep your head up and nail all these interviews coming up in the future I believe in you! If you need advice for work head over to Work Life – Tips for Success. And if you have any doubts just as your big sis. -KMH

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