So, you’ve landed an interview. Congrats! You made it through the hundreds of resumes and applications and are preparing to attain the role you’ve been searching for, but perhaps you are feeling a bit lost.
That’s how I felt. I hadn’t gone on an interview for quite some time and wondered what exactly to be prepared for. I was stressed and nervous, and I just wanted to get it over with.
Since you might be feeling the same, I wanted to share a few things that I learned at my last job interview that will hopefully be helpful to you. Prepare to quit worrying and land the job of your dreams!
1. It’s Not Only About your Qualifications
Sure, you should really be qualified for the position that you are interviewing for, but your qualifications and skill set are not the only things that an interviewer takes into consideration.
More times than not, a hiring manager is looking for someone who is not only qualified, but who also has a great personality and fits in with the company culture.
Do a little bit of research on the company — which you should be doing anyhow — and find out what the environment is like. I didn’t know much about metal plating when I applied at Sharrett’s Plating, but they were looking for someone who was more of a team player and leader than an expert on nickel. Brushing up on my people-skills helped showcase my personality and helped overshadow the lack of industry experience in my resume.
2. Bring Extras of — Almost — Everything
Now, you don’t need five copies of your references, but have additional essentials on hand. At my last interview, I was under the impression that I would be meeting with 2 people. Instead, I had an interview with six people from the company.
Luckily, I had enough copies of my resume to go around, but if I hadn’t, then it would have appeared that I was unprepared. So, do yourself a favor and print out extras of your resume, writing samples, and whatever else is important in your industry. It’s better to have them and not need them then to need them and not have them.
3. Be Ready for Off-the-Wall Questions
Not every interview will have questions about the number of windows in New York City, but an interviewer might throw in a “fun” question to mix it up a bit. I was asked, “If you could be any fruit, what would you be?”
I definitely didn’t practice any sort of response to this since I never guessed it would even come up. My advice is to do a little research and look up a few off-the-wall questions so that you aren’t caught completely off guard.
4. Be Prepared for a Second Interview
Assuming that you will only have one interview with a potential employer is not a safe bet. Today, companies conduct rounds of interviews so that they can find the best candidate. So, be ready to come back in to meet with them again.
Use your first interview to make an impression and also take time to make your own observations. Then, when you are brought back for the next round, address some of the things that you observed from your previous interview. It will show a set of listening and observational skills that some candidates forget to utilize.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the second interview means you got the job. Spend just as much time, if not more, preparing for it.
5. Stop Stressing and Just Relax
Interviews can be stressful and nerve wracking, but I have learned to just think of an interview as a get to know you session. I mean, that’s really just what it is. Check out a few things NOT to do, including being demanding, rambling and having poor body language. If you’re relaxed, you won’t feel the need to ramble on during every answer.
Be honest, know yourself well, research the company and position and you will be absolutely fine. There is no need to get overly worked up over a simple conversation.