You’ve done the research. You’ve turned in the resume and the cover letter. You got a call back, an interview, and now it’s time for the real show to start. Now you step up to the plate and you give it your best shot, but don’t do it blindly or all your hard work might not matter.
Interviews can be scary and intense. They test how well we can handle off-beat questions on the spot, our self-awareness, our talents, our experience, and even where we think we want to go.
Some say it’s good to spend two hours researching before the interview. Be familiar with their LinkedIn page, blog (if they have one), website and statistics for the year. Check Glassdoor.com (to see what past employees have said about the company and sometimes potential interview questions), their company culture, their expectations, and whatever else we think could be valuable information. It’s also important that we have questions prepared to ask them. All of this content will give you some ammunition with they ask if you have any questions for them.
We don’t want to be tripping over questions in a big interview, unaware of our “biggest weaknesses” or unable to articulate our accomplishments. Maybe we need to call on a friend to ask us questions or practice in the mirror. We want to prepare the outfit and make sure we feel comfortable and confident in it, sending the right tone and message.
Third, have patience.
If we walk into big interviews stressed about how much we want or need the job, we may not be able to give it our best shot and show our best selves. At the end of the day we need to sell ourselves, explain why we would be such an incredible asset to the team, why they ultimately need us. But we also need to understand that they’ve probably interviewed a lot of candidates and we don’t want to walk in and blab only about ourselves. Because chances are, unless they ask, they don’t care. We need to have questions prepared and be focused on our value to the organization, not just on ourselves.
Being interviewed can be intimidating, but when we think about it like a conversation, one where we get to know the company better and imagine how we would best fit in, it’s easier to showcase where we could add value.