So, you’ve gotten an interview – CONGRATULATIONS! That’s not an easy thing to do. It means your cover letter and resume did their jobs, and it means someone already believes you are qualified for the job. How cool is that? Now it’s all about FIT.
“Fit,” when it comes to interviews, means the employer needs to find out more about you and your background. You may think you’re anxious about the interview, but believe me, they are just as anxious as you are. The hiring manager can’t blow this – you’ve got to actually be able to do what you say you can do (or be very quickly trainable). You’ve also got to merge well into the existing structure. The personalities, the skill sets, the work culture, the tempo, the style. If it’s not a good fit, everyone including you will be miserable and the hiring manager will look like a jerk.
That’s why preparation for the interview is so important. Do you want to be job hunting again in a couple of months? Then you want a good fit too. If you do these seven things ahead of time, you’ll feel much more confident and capable, and you’ll give yourself the very best shot at getting a job someplace where you can thrive.
- Do your research – about the company, the people, and the job itself
- Prepare for behavioral questions – like “Can you tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker and how you handled it?”
- Know your best qualities and the key points you want to make about yourself – e.g., “I’m a quick learner, I have a killer work ethic, I’m very good at technical issues.”
- Practice responding to questions that make you nervous – maybe about your lack of a specific requirement, your academic record, a screw-up, etc.)
- Know what questions YOU have for them – e.g. ”What type of training is offered for this role.”
- Know for real, not in your dreams, how much money you need to live on – do a montlhy budget
- Do a dry run of the experience several days ahead – actually get in your car and go. If you’re flying, make an itinerary for the whole day.
I’ll be getting into much more detail on each of these points in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!