1. Know your résumé inside out
Know it better than the palm of your hand. You should come prepared to tell your story! It is vital that you are able to talk about your education and career trajectory without looking at your résumé while doing so.
2. Dress for the interview
Don’t underestimate the importance of company culture! Every firm has its own feel and it’s important to dress accordingly. When interviewing somewhere corporate, whether it be a finance or real estate firm, it’s a must to dress the part and wear a beautiful suit with a crisp white button-down. When interviewing at a creative firm, whether it be an advertising company or a contemporary fashion brand, make sure your attire is a reflection of that. Skinny black jeans with a blouse and a cute blazer are the right direction.
3. Make sure you know where you’re going & arrive early
Never start an interview off on a bad foot! Being on time is considered late. Google maps and Waze are here for a reason! So, take advantage and map out your drive in advance. Always prepare for traffic and leave time for some parking difficulty.
4. Be able to articulate why you are a good fit for the job
If you can’t explain why you are the right fit for the job, don’t expect to get the job! This is your time to shine and it’s crucial that you exude the confidence necessary to land your dream job. Make sure to always use real-life examples to leverage yourself and speak to what makes you stand out.
5. Talk about the job that’s open, not about the growth path
People want to feel like you want to prove yourself and earn your stripes. Too often candidates talk about growth too soon and consequently don’t land the job! Ambition is great, and goal-oriented individuals should always be rewarded, but always remember you are interviewing for an open position and will need to prove yourself in that role first! It’s better to talk about wanting to stay with a company long term and really grow with a company and create a home for yourself at your place of work. That way there is no misunderstanding that you are expecting an immediate promotion.
6. Research the company and who you’re meeting with
Don’t expect a firm to hire you if you don’t know anything about it! Just as important as it is to know your story, background, and résumé, it’s equally as important to know the DNA of the company you are interviewing with.
7. Come prepared with questions
Always make sure to have at least 5 questions ready when you go on an interview. Chances are a few of them will be answered before you even get to ask them, so it’s best to write down several beforehand to ensure you are prepared! Make sure you ask about the culture of a company, how the company is evolving, and what is important to them. Steer away from asking about salary, hours, benefits on the first round interview.
8. Really be able to articulate why you left former positions
Always be prepared to speak about why each position ended. Make sure to always stay as positive as possible in explaining why a position came to an end.
9. Know your own #FACTS
If you can’t remember the facts pertaining to your education and career path, how can you expect a new employer to trust you? If you are not able to accurately and quickly state facts ranging from your own résumé (compensation history, dates on the résumé, etc). firms will have reservations in proceeding.
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This post was originally published on June 29, 2016, and has since been updated.
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