The job interview is inevitably the most stressful part of landing yourself a new gig. The idea of being thrown a slew of confusing corporate jargon is enough to make most people’s stomach flip.
Even though you may have made a fool-proof resume, that is only the first step to landing yourself the job of your dreams. You should never go into a job interview unprepared, basically leaving yourself open to be blind-sighted.
There are several things that you can do when PREPARING for a job interview to eliminate the unknown, make a BOMB impression and ultimately give yourself the best shot to be chosen for that role. 💁🏻👉
Let’s start from the beginning
After watching my older sister land roles beyond her pay grade throughout my teens, she taught me how to prepare yourself for a job interview. I’ve spent hours pouring over the best job interview tactics and testing the best possibles. As a result, I’ve picked up quite a few tricks of my own along the way.
As a result of this preparation method, I landed internships at Conde Nast, gotten roles that required 10 years of experience when I only had one or two, and currently reside in Silicon Valley at a massive tech company.
You Get Out What You Put In
You really get out of a job interview what you put into it – if you spend a long time preparing (and preparing SMART) you’ll likely do better in an interview than just winging it. Seriously, don’t wing it. Even the best speakers and smartest people don’t go into these conversations without any preparation.
The Method 👉
Here are the 6 steps you need to ace any job interview:
Know the Role Inside & Out
This may seem intuitive but you’d be surprised at how many people just barely understand the role they are interviewing for. You should pour over the job description when interviewing for a role, understanding which qualifications you do/don’t have.
Think of it this way:
It’s someone’s job to sit down and write that job description. They are going to put the details of everything you want out of a candidate. How can you show the person that that candidate…IS YOU?!
Here are some other ideas for you to research a role:
- Find people with similar titles at the company (via LinkedIn). What is their past experience? Does it say anything about their role in their descriptions? This should give you some good interview nuggets.
- Clearly come up with examples of what experience you DO have the job description. If you are missing experience, NO FEAR. See #7 where we address this.
- Look at LinkedIn to see other team members, how big the team is and who else you may be working within this role. You should be able to find this by looking up a company and searching by job title.
2. Research The People You’ll Be Speaking With
Piggybacking on number 1, do RESEARCH on the people you’ll be speaking to. This should be pretty easy. If you can find a commonality with someone you’re speaking with (like from the same home state, was in the same sorority, etc) even better. Researching for a job interview is not creepy. This isn’t 1984. They will literally be impressed you did your job before coming in.
3. Understand the Company
One of the most important aspects of a job interview is to show that you’ve done your research. Not only may you be asked questions that test to see if you understand the company, but you can always drop this knowledge during the interview.
Beyond the actual role you are interviewing for, make sure you understand the following about the company:
- How does the company make money?
- Has the company been in the news recently?
- Who are its competitors?
See if you can mention that you’ve done your research at some point during the interview. You can do this in a few different ways. If it comes up naturally in a question and someone is asking you about the landscape, mention it there.
If you want to show you’ve done your research and it doesn’t up during the role, you can ask a question at the end of an interview, such as, “How does X company fit into the overall Y industry landscape?” or “I saw X, Y, and Z competitors were in the news recently. How will that affect you all moving forward?”
4. Study Smart – Prepare Your Answers To The TYPE of Interview
This may come as a surprise, but most likely you can actually prepare for the type of questions being asked during an interview. If the company your interviewing with has an HR department and you’ve worked with a recruiter, you can always ask if you should prepare for any type of questions during the interview.
Just for your reference, there are a few types of job interview questions:
Straight – On: When someone asks you a question about you or your knowledge
- You should be able to prepare for these by just reviewing top interview questions and knowing your past experience. Be able to speak to your past successes and failures, times you’ve worked on a team, times that you’ve gone above and beyond, etc.
Hypothetical: When someone is asking HOW you would handle a situation if it happened to you (i.e., “Your direct report does not complete his/her task. How would you approach this conversation with them?”)
- The trick with these questions is to answer in a STAR format. A company is trying to see how you’d solve a problem you’ve never been in before.
- S: Situation, T: Task, A: Action, R: Result
Behavioral: These questions usually start with, “tell me about a time…” where you are asked a time you were in this scenario in the past.
You should also answer these questions in a STAR format.
The elephant in the room is and what most people ask me is…what if you were never in “THAT” scenario they happen to ask you about?! 👉
Here’s the trick: think of 5 stories from your past experience that are versatile. Think of some that can double as failures, overcoming a challenge, having a conflict with a co-worker, etc. You can even Google the top behavioral interview questions to see the types of categories here. Understand these five examples REALLY well and you’ll be golden.
5. Ask Questions & Follow Up
You know at the end of the interview when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?!”. Let me tell you a secret.🙅🏻NEVER say, “No! I am good.” Always ask a question! If anything, it shows you are interested in the company.
👉👉Some easy question topics are:
- Why that person loves working at the company
- What the day-to-day of the role looks like
- What an ideal candidate looks like
After you’ve asked a question, make sure to follow up and show you’ve listened and reacted to that question. It will mean a lot to the interviewer!
6. Leave something behind
This is my job interview secret. I ALWAYS find a way to prepare something for the company it behind. I’m in sales full time, so it could be something like a sample pitch or a 30-60-90 day plan on how I’d ramp in the job. I just always try and go above and beyond and show the company I’m ALREADY doing #werk for them. 🙋🏻 🙋🏻 🙋🏻
Work it out, girl. Follow these FIVE steps and you’ll ace the job interview like you did your SATs. Expect easier and with more money.
Comment below and let me know how these tips got you your next job. I want to hear YOUR stories! 👉👉👉