Your resume is perfect. Your cover letter is amazing. However without a strong interview or without research and preparation, it can be a challenge to find your next perfect role. Here’s our quick guide to prepping yourself for any job interview, for any company, at any point in your career:
Do your research. No matter the company, become familiar with it before the interview. Understand the job description and what they’re looking for. Read over the mission of the company, as well as other company details. Are you interviewing for a position with a large digital agency that works mostly with fashion clients, or with an up-and-coming startup that needs someone who falls in line with their values? Does this company have product lines or do they offer services?
Anticipate questions. Come up with appropriate answers and practice them before the interview so you can be prepared. Align yourself with the prospective employer. Moreover, come up with 2-3 questions you want to ask about the team, the role, or the company. Do not ask questions about the salary, vacations, and other benefits in the first interview.
Consider image. Dress for the part—even if it’s a video interview. Wear what will best fit in with the culture and expectations of the company. You can always ask what that is before the interview, but it’s always safe to aim for business casual with a creative touch.
Remember nonverbal messaging. What you say without saying anything can make a big impact. Offer a firm handshake and stand tall. Pay attention to eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures.
Keep your responses concise. Don’t ramble about a particular achievement when you can sum it up in a few sentences. Don’t talk over the interviewer. If they ask for more explanation, talk a little more, but your answers should still be to the point.
Know your metrics! Back up your answers with quantifiable data. Instead of mentioning how you grew a company’s social media presence to “a lot more”, make mention of how a specific Twitter campaign helped increase followers by 25 percent. Alternately, offer examples of your leadership skills with numbers. You weren’t just a manager — you were the manager of a 12-person team who helped the company succeed with innovative and collaborative ideas, or you managed X number of presentations.
Know your key strengths and repeat them. Don’t brag, but do praise yourself and your accomplishments. It’s essential to confidently articulate what you’re best at doing! It also helps the interview know whether you’re a great fit for the job.
Share your success stories. Oftentimes, interviewers ask about a project you were proud of or a role where you had to overcome adversity on the job. Reflect on your past jobs and write out a few times you set out to execute a campaign, presentation, or idea, and how you were able to demonstrate your skills. For example share how you won a pitch, achieved ROI, or reduced redundancy.
Visualize. Can you see yourself as part of the team or company? Use “we” vs. “them” as you discuss questions or specifics about a role. It helps to “see” yourself in that setting.
Bring your portfolio. Having a physical (or virtual, if you bring your laptop or tablet) representation of your work to show off your technical or design skills, as well as past projects. This will also help you explain those success stories in further detail.
Good luck on your next interview!