You got the call for a job interview. Your dream job, the one you cannot let get away from you, Congratulations!
How do you nail the job interview and start living the dream?
I have asked myself this many times in my life, and I guarantee I could be in the same situation as you again, in the future. Times right now, people are feverously looking and seeking the best opportunities for them. A career that suits their lifestyle, image, family life, stability, interests, hobbies, and skills. There are also attributes of a job that intrigue people to apply for a job as it applies to what kind of benefits you’ll receive. It is so exciting to get a call for an interview. This means that they want YOU to be a part of their company. Flattering, right? You have shown them in some way that you meet the requirements for the job, and now they just want to see if you are the perfect fit for the team. Huh, the nerves in my tummy come back to me as I think about how in a split moment you are thrilled for the chance, but now nauseous with nerves of the reality you are about to have to sell yourself in one of the most intimidating environments. I’m sorry, but I have to bring us all down to Earth real quick, because it’s about to get real! I know.
So for all you fierce women out there who have just stumbled across this blog after frantically searching to interview tips, welcome, and get ready to take some notes on how to NAIL THIS INTERVIEW!
To give you all a brief background of my interview experience I will fill you in on where my interviews were: nanny, receptionist, barista, McDonalds, Old Navy, tutor, multiple job fairs, and teaching interviews. Each one held a certain amount of nerves but also held a unique amount of standards that I walked away learning something new. The level of severity in needing a job, changes throughout your adolescence into adulthood. When I was a nanny, I was still living at home – my needs were different, I relied on my parents a lot financially. When I was in college, I worked in retail and the food industry- and it helped me in “fun” financial ways. Once I was out of college, I started attending career fairs and getting interviews that in my opinion “mattered.” This interview was going to be land me right into adulthood. The income and benefits were completely different, because it was going to be what I needed to help provide a home, medical, savings, transportation, and everything. The pressure I put on myself was different, so I know how you feel wherever you are on your interviewing journey. There are things I wish I would have known back then, that I definitely know now, and I am confident that these tips will help you land the job of your dreams.
An example of a fierce women-showing confidence I think, Elle Woods. If you do not know who the fictional character of Elle Woods is, she is the protagonist of Amanda brown’s well-known novel (now movie), “Legally Blonde.” Elle goes beyond to get in to Harvard University, and become a lawyer. Many people told her she could not do it, but she proved them all wrong; pink dress suit, Chihuahua in her purse, and pink-perfumed resumes. She shows the epitome of
confidence, and knowing who she is. Now I am not saying do everything like Elle, but we all can learn something from her character.
Confidence is, believing in yourself and your abilities. It all begins with you loving yourself and believing that you know how to do what this job in tales, even if there will be a learning curve. When you get the call for an interview, you have to remember that the company has identified you as someone they already deem ready for the job based off your resume. That should give you, your first glimpse of confidence right there. Now it is up to you to prove yourself ready. The first impression is very important, and it is said that an employer will know they want to hire you based off the first 5 minutes of see your body language and first couple of responses. How you carry yourself and the confidence you portray is valuable to your success. Some things that you can do that show confidence is in your: -Eye Contact: you should make good eye contact with everyone that is interviewing you. -Hand Shake: firm and a perfect length of time. -Smile: Genuine -Posture: Shoulders back, you do not want to slouch or cross your arms. -Hand Position during interview: Hold them on the table, do not pick your nails, use appropriate hand gestures when talking.
Your outfit and accessories need to fit the part of the company you are applying to, just a tad bit dressier. You want to show them who you are, based off your skill set, not your fashion sense. When taking an interview at a retail or fast food chain you will be wearing either a uniform or clothes similar to the store, so if you dress up in black slacks, a button down or blouse, then you are probably prepared. IF you are interviewing for a corporate, office, or prestigious job it is important to dress as if you have already gotten the job. One thing I have always told myself before an interview, “If I look good, I feel good,” And that plays a lot into my confidence too.
Some great choices: Pant Dress Suit, blazer, portfolio, dress shoes, neutral colors (black, tan, white, navy blue, grey, or brown), a watch, hair in a bun or ponytail, natural makeup, a smile.
Things to avoid: Bright colors, sneakers, cleavage, gaudy jewelry, strong perfume, nail colors that are noticeable, undone hair, gum, dated/worn out purse, noisy bracelets.
You want all the attention to be on your face, how you respond in your answers, and keep distractions at a minimum. Now you may be thinking that these are strict and silly suggestions. Well – they are just suggestions – so take them or leave them; however, I have found that it does matter what you wear. If the job matters, your appearance will show it, and the employers will take notice if you are not dressed appropriately. I would rather look more professional and feel confident than underdressed and regretful.
You should be practicing before you go into an interview. The number one question that will 90% of the time be asked is, “Tell me about yourself.” You have to be prepared to talk about yourself. As odd as it sounds talking about yourself can be a little more challenging than one thinks, especially if you add nerves into the mix. Having practiced answers before you go into an interview, will give you the confidence you need once the questions start. Preparation is key. When my husband and I would had interviews, we would prepare together. We would write down the questions and the answers on notecards. The responses do not have a script verbatim, however we always tried to get the response to “tell me about yourself” down pact. During an interview, the first five minutes are the most important and the last five minutes. I prepared an exit statement as well. When the interview is about to be over, you ask the interviewer if you can have just one more minute, and then you lay out why you deserve the job. The exit statement is the most powerful tool my husband and I use during interviews. It makes you feel like you have left the interview with the last word, impression, and that you’ve given your all for the interviewers to know your deep desire to work there.
-Make notes cards
-Find a person to do a mock interview with
-Talk to yourself while you drive to the interview
-Video tape yourself in a mock interview
-Look up commonly asked questions on google.com or through glassdoor.com for that company, and write them down.
-Write your answers multiple times and say them aloud for practice.
There is always going to be a curve ball question, but if you practice as much as possible, you will be able to pull from your experience practicing to give your best answer. Remember that you can pause and give your self-time to think. Think time is okay in an interview and waiting 10 seconds to collect your thoughts looks more respectable to the interviewer than if you ramble right way
Your resume is something that probably go you your interview in the first place. However, if something changes since the time you applied to the day of your interview, you want to make those edits before going in. You will want to print at the most 10 resumes, on special resume paper (it looks better than if you printed on regular copy paper). It looks professional and is actually nice to carry your resume in a brief case or portfolio folder when you go to the interview. Inside my portfolio I always my resumes, letters of recommendation, and a notepad. On my notepad, I had prepared 10 questions that I had for the employer about the position and company. At the end of interviews, they always ask if you have any questions for them, and you SHOULD have questions for them, if you are prepared and serious for the job.
After you greet them with a confident smile and handshake they will probably lead you to the place they are interviewing you. It is in that moment that you initiate giving them a copy of your resume. Either they will accept, or they will already have one printed out. The fact that you have one shows that you are prepared and confident.
To feel confident and well prepared for the interview it is ideal that you do research on the company before going into an interview. Questions like
-Who is interviewing me?
-What is their role in the company?
-What does my job description say?
-What does the company do in my community?
-What are the benefits of an employee?
-What are the hours?
-When did the company start?
-What is the CEO’s name, story, and background?
-What is the work environment like?
-Has the company been in the news lately?
There are so many questions that you could have, as it applies to interests or just because it is important to show interest and knowledge of where you are going to work. This also will help you gain insight into what kind of professional vocabulary is required for the job. If this is, a job you have a lot of knowledge in then it may not come as a surprise when they use vocabulary like, “deferred client,” or “chiffon.” You want to make sure you are up to speed on development in language as it applies to your career field.
Therefore, as much as we can feel confident and prepared for an interview, we can never really know what to expect. As a fierce woman, I know you are confident, now you just have to go nail it. Post interview, make sure you send a thank you email, and be patient in the wait. You deserve the most out of the career you want, so do not settle for just any job. Go after your dream job no matter what!