6 Step Interview Prep

6 Step Interview Prep | The B Werd

I was out of commission last week battling some migraines I had never before experienced, hence the lack of posts. I was unable to get anything done and for a workholic, you know that hurt me as bad as the migraine. I then spent all weekend talking entrepreneurship with a bunch of Baddies before being right back in the office this week. Ironically, while checking emails Sunday evening before bed I got one asking me specifically what I would suggest when preparing for an interview. I may preach ownership quite a bit, but let’s not get confused, corporate careers can be incredibly fulfilling, especially when you land a job you really want.

I haven’t had to interview for a job in a very long time, since I’ve been with my current company since I graduated three years ago. But I will say, that I’ve never interviewed for a job and not gotten it. From FootAction to Shell, I’ve accepted over a dozen offers. I truly enjoy my 9-5 and recognize that entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, so it’s imperative if you’re looking for a career that you’re taking the time out to properly prepare for an interview.

Be Personable

Don’t let your nerves show, even if they’re present. Confidence is key in landing the things you want. At the same time, confidence is not to be confused with flamboyant arrogance. No ones like a know-it-all, we like know-a-lots. I can honestly say I’ve landed a handful of jobs with very little preparation because I was confident that I could not only land it, but do an exceptional job once I was hired. Meek personalities don’t exude enough self-certainty to convince your potential employer that you’ll be able to fulfill whatever their current needs are, even if you’re fully capable. They’re looking for a qualified candidate who believes they’re an asset and can add value to their company.

Know Yourself

Because “so tell me about yourself…” is an unavoidable question. A quick elevator speech will suffice. While you want to give a full answer, you don’t want to lose your interviewers attention or go too far off track. You also don’t want to give so many details that they have no other questions to ask. Try to envelope enough personal details while still remaining business focused. You enjoying bike riding and Harry Potter books is cool, but what does that have to do with what you can do for them? Start with what you studied in college and what you currently do, highlight two noteworthy accolades or milestones and move into how it’s positioned you for the challenges and responsibilities of the role you’re interviewing for.

Look Up Their Social Media

This gives you a feel for their company culture. Get a feel for “who” your company is in order to figure out “why” you want to work there, other than the fact that you need a job. What’s their dialect like? Very straight forward with a monotone? Are they sarcastically bantering with each other? Feel free to throw a few jokes in as you’re meeting with people. Are they tweeting up a storm about an event or product launch? Use it as a conversation starter. This not only shows them that you mesh well, but also shows them you know what they’re about and what they’re working on.

Practice Common Interview Questions

This one should be a no brainer. When they ask you what you think your biggest flaw is, you don’t want to hesitate as if they should know you’re perfect and don’t have any. It’s a difficult question to answer and many will be. It’s as simple as Googling “most common interview questions” and answering them in the mirror. When watching yourself, be mindful of where your eyes go and your posture. Eye contact and body language is crucial. Are you slouched? Are your arms crossed? Are you looking up into space? Fidgeting, wondering eyes and closed-in body language take away from the credibility of your responses.

Always Have Questions

The interview is a two-way conversation and almost all of them will end in whether or not you have any questions for your interviewer. This is your chance to learn more about the company and the role. Prepare thoughtful questions in advance. Having questions shows that you’re interested and curious. Having intelligent questions shows that you’re prepared and ready to talk business. Some specific questions I like to ask are “what would a typical day in this role be like?”, “what do you enjoy most about your job?” and “how soon are you all looking to make a decision?” so I can know when to expect to hear from them.

Clean-up Your Social Media Accounts

Google is the first place potential employers are going to look for you. If there are things on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook you don’t want them to see, make sure you check your privacy settings. As responsible as you may be, opinionated posts, inappropriate photos or excessive partying could very well be a turn-off. There’s more to be found out about you than you’d believe thanks to the Internet. If I interview with another company, I better be prepared for them to ask about The B Werd. Luckily my LinkedIn pops up higher in the search.

 

8 Comments

  1. March 28, 2017 / 10:24 am

    Being that I am an HR professional these are great things that everyone should know about especially when looking to start a new career or even if they are interviewing for a position with their current company. Again thanks for sharing and helping 🙂

    • Courtney
      March 29, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thank you for your feedback Shauni! Just trying to help young women land their dream jobs 😉

  2. March 28, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    Human Resources approves this message. *hand clap*

    Great insight and great tips! Preparation is a must, because the level of critique during interviews is real. While someone is interviewing for an open position, they should also be considering what the employer has to say. This is why bringing questions to the table for the potential employer to answer is so vital.

    As a side note, companies love when you are familiar with their vision or mission statement and talk about how it aligns with your own work goals, work ethic, and work experience.

    -avid reader
    Cassidy

    • Courtney
      March 29, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thank you Cass! You know.. I started to mention mission and vision statements but my own company doesn’t even have one LOL so I was like “forget it!”. Thanks for reading boo!

  3. Alex W
    March 28, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    As a Recruiter I agree however another tip is not to rehearse everything you research online but make it relatable. For instance if you share the same corporate social responsibility values as the company, you should mention a community initiative that you were apart of. It shows you’ve done your research and identify with the companies values.

    • Courtney
      March 29, 2017 / 9:59 am

      That’s a great point. Thank you for reading and sharing Alex!

  4. DD
    April 5, 2017 / 10:44 am

    Great Post!! I am on a mission to landing my dream job…. by the way your blog site rocks :))

    • Courtney
      April 6, 2017 / 10:51 am

      Thank you so much boo! Good luck finding that dream job, you got it! 😉 xx