Interviews are like spending the holidays with the in-laws – a necessary evil that’s never as bad (ok, rarely) as you’ve worked it up to be in your mind. I swear, I used to get hives at the thought of an interview until, by some twist of fate, the roles were reversed and I actually became an interviewer myself (bwahaha – insert evil grin here!). However, I’ve come to learn that, contrary to popular belief, the interviewer isn’t out to set you up for failure… who knew? So, as a show of good faith, I’ll give you some of my best learned secrets from the other side of the curtain. Here are six secrets for crushing job interviews:
1. Confidence: Fake It Til You Make ItThe best advice I can give is to be confident and remember that you’ve made it this far for a reason. Hold your head up high, don’t trip, and remember, ‘you got this.’ Interviews are one of the few times in life where narcissism is accepted and maybe even embraced. Remember, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance but during the interview process, you want a beautiful balance of both. *Side note – if you’re naturally arrogant, then disregard my previous statement: For you I say, smile and sit down – you ain’t all that!
2. Be A StalkerKnowledge is key and Google is your new best friend. Before you step foot in that interview, you should know everything there is to know about that company. Google it, Facebook it, and study their Linkedin page like you’ve never had anything better to do in your life. Also, if you’re lucky enough to know who’s interviewing you… stalk away, my friends. Knowledge is power, and we live in the 21st century where a simple Google search can make or break your ability to shine.
3. Read Between The LinesJust about every last one of us has been asked, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Funnily enough - curve ball coming your way here - we don’t actually care what you think your strengths and weaknesses are. The reason this question hasn’t been updated in 100 years is because it gives away so much about a person.
- Are they prepared? (Again, it’s been a question for 100 years.. how did you not see that coming?)
- Do they have a solid grasp on their own abilities?
- It’s also really fun to watch how people try to turn their ‘weaknesses’ into a (not-so-humble) strength. This shows creativity, thoughtfulness, and an ability to turn negative things into positive.
- We know you Googled your answer… just so you know! But your ability to deliver and articulate is what’s actually key here.
4. Wave Your Freak FlagOk, maybe not literally – but subtly and just enough to stand out from the crowd and make the interviewer remember you. Maybe test this out on a few people and make sure you’re not too far out in left field. But if you grew up on a sheep farm (please withhold Kiwi jokes here as I am, in fact, a New Zealander!) or have participated in a triathlon, mention it when it feels right. Keep it short and sweet. Don’t bore them with details but show off that you have a personality and would fit well with their environment.
5. Don't SettleMany people come into interviews borderline desperate to get a job. Whether it’s personal financial stress or this happens to be your dream job, calm yourself. It is every bit as important to be prepared for their questions as it is for them to be prepared for yours. Don’t settle, you’ll regret it. Ever heard the expression, “Don’t gamble with scared money?” Well, it applies with new jobs ten times over. Don’t go into a job so desperate to be hired that you forget to stop and think, ‘is this really what’s best for you?’
6. Break A LegDon’t forget to smile and breath throughout the entire process. It’s only an interview, it’s only a job. While it may be the answer to your prayers, or your bank account’s prayers, it’s still not the end of the world. If you’re prepared and qualified, the rest will fall into place. Que sera sera! (Whatever will be, will be.) Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles:
- How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions
- Top 3 Tips For Phone Interviews
- How To Ace The Panel Interview