One of the best and worst parts of the interviewing process is that it is an art that can always be improved on. We know times are especially difficult right now and it is kinda the perfect opportunity to circle back to our current interview strengths and weaknesses. We can applaud our strengths and continue to incorporate them while giving some much deserved time and attention towards our weaknesses when it comes to interviewing.
#1: If you’re on time, you’re late
If you’re that person who will sacrifice being on time (aka late) to pick up that Starbucks that you may or may not spill on your way in, let this hit you… and hit you HARD. When the meeting starts, when class starts, when the interview starts, the clock for the A game has started.
This means that once you sit down for your interview, you have already put your phone away, hydrated, used the restroom, checked your teeth, portfolio ready and have taken that deep breath to remind yourself why you’re in this interview to begin with.
#2 Did someone say portfolio?
This next one is super dependent on the job you’re applying for. Either way, at the very least, always have a resume and cover letter as a hard copy as well as a digital version. Next, have a collection of some of your best work ready to showcase your talents. This doesn’t need to be all of work or a full send story of your life. Give them a reason to want to know more about you and what you’re capable of.
If you’re a little more on the techy side, having an iPad mini with all of this is a great way to show your best pieces.
#3 Slow your roll
Isn’t it funny how it can be so easy to have a mini freak out just minutes before going into an interview? Or you start self-sabotaging and teling yourself that you don’t deserve to be here for whatever reason you try posing. It’s like you almost forget all of your accomplishments and goals for the future at the worst possible time. Just remember: YOU CAN DO THIS. If you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be in that room. It’s very simple.
#4 SWOT yourself
If you haven’t heard of a SWOT analysis, it is a term that businesses use to assess their strengths, weaknesses, opportunity, and threat. WELL, now it’s time to SWOT yourself.
Ask yourself about your strengths. Make sure you know them inside and out, you believe in them, and keep them close to you.
Weaknesses? Remember they are characteristics and do not define who you are as a person. Think about what you’re really not good at and how you can make yourself comfortable to tell your potential new team that. Find actionable items to help you work on those weaknesses. It takes a massive amount of courage to talk about something you're not so good at and the plans you’re implementing to get better.
Opportunities - see yourself as an opportunity for X company to get to Z place. Focus on how, what, when, and why here.
Threats - We’ve all been there and have really been there recently. They happen in business, in our personal lives that impact work, etc. Figure out how YOU would handle the situation in the specific role that you’re applying for. This doesn’t have to be the right answer but a foundation of how you would handle it speaks volumes about how you may be in that role.
#5 Dress the part
Applying for a role at a gym? Do you show up in business casual or do you show up in workout clothes? The professional world is a lot more casual than it once was; however, making first impressions are everything. We recommend that you dress in your “interview best”. Your interviewer may tell you to dress comfortably or that they will be casual. That’s great. Still think about your interview best - we’ll leave it at that.
The way you present yourself physically represents to the world a lot about how you take care of what’s on the inside. Tech neck is real in our society and we slouch a lot. Command your presence in the room by standing and sitting tall. It’s a no-brainer. C’mon.
#7 Post Interview
What you do after your interview is just as important as what you did during the interview. Remember, you are uniquely qualified and that counts for something. However, it is not always easy to know that someone is uniquely qualified by a resume that is in a stack or characteristics that we all usually talk about during an interview.
Are you ready for this genius? A hand-written note is thoughtful and respectful. It’s not too 1950s and will definitely leave an impression.Bring a note with you and leave it in their mailbox before you leave.
You’ve given your handwritten note, but make sure to follow up in an email. Thank them for their time and try to incorporate specifics from your meeting together. Name drop the shit out of that interview (within reason - don’t be too much).
And lastly, if it’s in front of you and it’s meant for you, you’re ready.
June 26, 2020