Don’t be so modest!
After all, you’ve just whipped up a cover letter and a resume`, sent it out into the world and hey, it was obviously superb enough to charm the pants off somebody, because guess what? You’ve landed yourself a job interview! Whee!
Now, I know you’re very excited. And that’s understandable, because from what I’ve heard? The role does sound pretty damn magnificent. So how do we ensure that even in a room full of candidates, you’re the number one stand-out? It’s all in the preparation! Here’s six steps to complete to ensure that you don’t only succeed in your almighty interview, but that you totally NAIL it. Right! Let’s get started!
1. Do Your Research
What can you find out about the company that’s interviewing you? How long have they existed? What are their core values? Researching this information in advance not only puts you in the best position to understand what sort of candidate that your interviewer is looking for, but it also provides you with some serious ammunition in the event that you’re asked “so, what do you know about XYZ Limited?” (Tip: answering “well, now that you’ve mentioned it… nothing!” MAY not be the kind of response that they’re looking for!)
2. Getting Dressed
Ooh! So today’s the big day! And if there was ever a time to seriously pull out the big guns for your appearance, it’s now. Think: ridiculously elegant hair, a beautiful shirt (ruffles? A jewel tone? Delicate buttons?!), a striking necklace (it’s the perfect casual conversation starter!) and seemingly-natural-but-definitely-not make-up. (Maybelline’s Liquid Mineral Power foundation is UNREAL.)
It’s a piece of advice that you’re likely to have heard approximately 1.532 trillion times before, but there’s a reason that it’s subject to such high-rotation: it’s IMPORTANT!
Nothing sends out “please, don’t hire me!” vibes like lateness and allowing yourself extra time to get to your destination allows you ample opportunity to find the exact location, chomp on a mint and mentally prepare yourself for a full stream of questions.
4. Smile! They’re Not Axe Murderers
I know. You’re nervous, and hey, that’s 100% to be expected! But imagine that you’re meeting your beloved’s mother for the first time today: what sort of image would you like to convey to them? If you answered “warmth! Intelligence! Personality! Charisma!’‘, terrific! We’re in business! Because that’s the exact impression that you should aim to bestow upon your interviewer.
Knowing that you’re about to be seated with someone who is a) a stranger; and b) the gatekeeper to the occupation of your dreams; can be extremely daunting, but secretly pretending that they’re somebody that you’d like to forge a closer relationship with, or even picturing them as your best friend, will help you to remember to smile, breathe, and radiate your natural effervesence!
5. Sell, Sell, Sell!
You know how sometimes people will ask you about something that you’ve recently accomplished that you’re actually really proud of, but choose to answer with self-deprecation and deflection because um, you don’t want to sound like a bit of a jerk? (Example? Random Person: “So wow, I heard that you sold one of your ideas to Microsoft the other day, now that’s SOMETHING!”You: “Uh, yeah, well, it wasn’t really. In fact, it was pretty lame. You know, they probably just had a shortage of other projects to develop, so they picked mine. I’m not even sure why they chose it, though…”) Now is NOT the time for that! Emphasise your strengths, pitch your ideas and sell your qualities like there’s no tomorrow! (Because if you don’t, chances are that there WON’T be a tomorrow. Well, at least, not in that particular office!)
If you don’t possess a certain skill or area of knowledge that your employer is looking for, don’t sweat it. Instead, showcase your other areas of expertise (such as your amazing flair for providing excellent customer service, or incredible design prowess!), and admit that although you may not have 100% of the qualities that they’re looking for NOW, you’d be willing to undertake part-time study in your own time to obtain them. In my experience, nine times out of ten, an employer will regard enthusiasm, an eager-to-learn attitude and passion as more desirable qualities than someone with ten qualifications but a big lack of zest.
6. Ask Questions
Ask questions to demonstrate your interest in the position and industry, quiz your potential employer about which steps they took to get to where they are and enquire about the company’s views on career progression. You’ll blow your interviewee away with your intrigue and it’ll help you to become a more comfortable conversationalist.
Finally? I absolutely know that you don’t need it (you’ve just got that star quality about you!), but GOOD LUCK!