They want to meet you!
Your palms might be a bit sweaty, and naturally, you are nervous because you want to make a great impression, but what if they don’t like you? What if you are not the right fit? What if someone is better than you?
OK – calm down and take a breath. It’s just an interview.
But it’s an important interview because it means something to you. You want this new job. So, now that you have the interview, here are a few tips I have found to help people show up energetically and professionally to have a great interview.
Be Very Clear on WHY You Want the Job
Be prepared to communicate the reasons why you are interested in the job, why you want to work for the company, and what value you can bring. Knowing these things will help you show up powerfully, professionally, and energetically to the interview.
Do Your Research
Make sure you have done enough research to talk competently and confidently about what the company does and who they serve. Know the company’s mission and vision statements. Read articles, posts, and reviews on such sites as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Twitter, and Indeed to learn more about the company. Be careful when reading reviews because they reflect one person’s experience and opinion. That may not be yours if you decide to work for the company. Plus, doing all of this research will help you craft some great questions to ask the interviewer during your portion of the interview.
Lock Down Your Logistics
Know where the meeting is, who you will be meeting with, and how long it will take you to get there. Be clear on directions, how you will get there, and how much time it will take. Showing up late for an interview will stress you out and not make a good first impression. Find out where you will park and if there is a coffee shop or place to relax for a few minutes before the interview when you arrive early. Also, know whether it will be a technical interview, behavioral interview, or a combination of both. All that information is part of your excellent preparation.
Have a portfolio or something to write with when you want to take notes. Bring a bottle of water in case you get thirsty and the interviewer doesn’t offer you some water. You may want to carry a copy of your resume, though it is highly unlikely you will need it to give to an interviewer as most often they already have an electronic copy.
Use the STAR Method
Some questions require a detailed response and the STAR method is a great way to frame your answer to questions that usually being with “Tell me about a time when…”. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Your response will cover each component. For more information about the STAR method, click on this resource. Know that the interviewer is looking for how you answer the question and how you communicate your response. Keep your answer under two minutes.
What You Say and How Well You Say It
How we “show up” energetically and how well we communicate are key factors in an interview. Be careful of using filler words such as, “um,” “like,” “so,” and “ahhh.” These can be very distracting. Speak competently and confidently. There is no need to be cocky. Let your personality shine through. Be a diagnostic listener and listen for what they are looking for in a candidate and what they need. And lastly, be interested in what the interviewer has to say rather than worrying about how interesting you are.
Ask Thoughtful Questions When It Is Your Turn
You will get a chance to ask some questions. When it is your turn, know that the interviewer is taking note of the kinds of questions you ask. Avoid asking questions such as, “What’s a typical day like?” or “What are the benefits?”. Those are questions for another time. Ask questions you want to know about the company and the position. This may also be an opportunity to ask a follow-up question based on something the interviewer asked you. Rely on your solid research to help create some great questions that are thought-provoking, time appropriate, and reflect your interest in the position and organization.
Make an Agreement on Next Steps
The interview is over, and you want to know what’s next. It’s essential for you to listen to what the interviewer says here. Usually, he/she will give you a timeline for their process and when they expect to make a hiring decision. He/she should also tell you whom you should contact if you don’t hear anything. If that information is not shared, ask. You have been invited to interview, and it’s appropriate to know the next steps. Those next steps include whether or not there will be another round of interviews, when a decision is expected about selecting a candidate, and who is your point of contact if you don’t hear anything within that timeline. Agreements are critical moving forward because if for any reason, you don’t hear anything about your candidacy, you now have some information on how to proceed. This will save you a lot of wasted energy worrying about what’s next.
Know that I wish you the best on your next round of interviews.
What is your favorite interviewing tip? Comment in the box below and share your thoughts and ideas with our readers.