Before the world shut down, hundreds and thousands of college students were preparing to walk across the graduation stage. My heart goes out to everyone whose collegiate experience was cut short. I know how devastated I would have been. But life happens and things change. We have to keep moving forward. And that means focusing on the future. One of the most important things post-graduation is the job search. Today, I’m sharing five ways to nail an interview and land your dream job.
Fun Fact: My first job was on a college campus working in Student Affairs. During this time, I gave presentation after presentation about all things marketing yourself and transferable skills. So why not share a little of my professional expertise with all of you?
Whether you’re going to your first job interview or looking to change things up, these tips will help you strengthen your candidacy and make you stand out from the competition. Ready to land your dream job?
FIVE THINGS TO DO AT EVERY INTERVIEW:
Bring A Hard Copy Of Your Resume A lot of the time, HR people and department heads are bouncing around from meeting to meeting. And, guess what? They lose track of time and forget things. And that thing could be your resume. What says, “I’m prepared,” like saving the day and handing them a copy? I suggest bringing at least 5 copies to every interview. You never know how many people you’re going to be meeting!
Be An Expert: Speaking of resumes, you better know yours inside and out. You will be asked about it and you should be able to talk about each experience in detail. I recommend having 2-3 talking points about each job or volunteer experience, award, or skill. Here are somethings to have in your back pocket about each experience:
- An accomplishment
- A challenge
- 3-4 biggest responsibilities
Don’t forget to take every opportunity to link your past experience with the job you’re trying to get.
Do Your Homework: Being prepared is not scrolling through the company’s website and calling it a day. You need to study them. Research is knowing their mission statement, upcoming events, past successes, and key employees… to name a few. The easiest way to stay up-to-date is to follow their social accounts.
Put your internet stalking skills to good use. Hop on LinkedIn and browse through key employee i.e. hiring manager, department head, or owner. Do you have anything in common? Can you use it in the interview? Connections such as alma maters, volunteer work, and mutual contacts can go a long way in making your interview memorable.
Ask Questions: Before your interview, create a list of 3-5 questions specific to the position and company, print it out, and bring it with you. And, yes, it needs to be printed. Having a printed document sends the message that you prepared for this interview. You invested the time.
Use these questions wisely. One of my favorite interview tactics is to ask a question that catches the interviewer off guard and makes them think. Here’s my go to question I use to wrap up an interview:
“Thinking back to those who’ve previously held this position, think of the person you’d consider to be the best. Could you please describe the qualities they possessed that made them so successful in the role?”
The goal is to have the interviewer repeat things you’ve mentioned earlier in the interview. You want them to connect you and your experience to someone they consider to be the best employee they’ve had thus far.
It’s important to note that while you’re the one looking to be hired, you are also interviewing the company. Ask about company culture, team dynamics, and work style. Trust me…it’s important.
Follow Up: One of the most important things you can do post interview is to follow up. After you return home from your interview, send your interviewer(s) a quick email thanking them for their time. In your email mention one specific point from your conversation and elaborate on it. For example, if you talked about how Tik Tok is an emerging social platform for companies to utilize, send an article for them to check out. This will open the lines of communication, establish deeper rapport, and leave a lasting impression.
I also recommend sending a hand written thank you note. If you want to stand out, go the extra mile. Your interviewer most likely receives hundreds of emails a day. But how many personal notes do they get? Small gestures have the biggest impact.
- Dress the part– when in doubt over dress
- Sit at the edge of your seat – it’s a psychological tactic that indicates higher interest
- Bring a note pad and pen – take notes on important details such as benefits
- Firm handshake- you’ve heard this a millions times, but it’s so important
- Go for the handshake if one is not extended to you– it shows confidence
- Arrive 15 minutes early – you never know what paper work you’ll have to fill out
- Provide the company with a problem they have you can fix – show them that you’re ready to get to work and help elevate the company
Here’s another great article about psychological tips and tricks to use in an interview:
Well, there you go! I kinda got carried away and added some bonus tip for yah. Good luck on your next interview. Let me know in the comments if you use any of these tips to land your dream job!