For me, there are only a few more things that are nerve-wracking than interviewing for a job (hello, heights and being buried alive).
Before each interview, I have to sit in the car and psych myself up, remembering that if I wasn’t qualified for the position, they wouldn’t have brought me in for the interview in the first place. But there’s something oh-so-unsettling about going into a room with people you don’t know and trying to put your best foot forward. I’ve done my fair share of interviews for both internships and full-time jobs, so here are my best pieces of advice for how to survive an interview.
1. Dress for the occasion. When I first started interviewing, I felt so awkward walking into an office dressed professionally when all of the employees were in jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes…it’s like they knew I was going in for an interview. After the second time this happened, I had no choice but to get over it – show up looking professional and don’t dress down to meet the company’s culture. Even if your interviewer is wearing jeans, you look professional and like you want the job if you are wearing a nice dress or suit.
2. Re-read the job description so it is fresh in your mind. I don’t know about you, but I apply for a ton of jobs at a time, either in Marketing, Digital Marketing, or Project Management. My best tip is reviewing the job posting before you go into the interview – just to have it top of mind and you remember which details are most important for the role.
3. Do your research on the company and the interviewers. I cannot stress this enough. When you start interviewing, start researching the company. Learn the size of it, any mission statements, who the CEO is, and most importantly, what they do or sell. As soon as your recruiter sends over the information of who you will be interviewing with, go ahead and look them up on LinkedIn. You may feel that this is creepy, but in the end, it will help you put a face with the name as well as what their role and responsibilities are.
4. Print copies of your resume. There is nothing worse than going into an interview and not having copies of your resume to hand out. Most companies will have them printed for the interviewers, but it shows that you are prepared when you show up with them.
5. Prepare a list of questions for the interviewers. Nothing says that you’ve done all your research on the company and interviewers like having specific questions for each of them! Ask the interviewers questions about their roles, the company as a whole, or what exactly they are looking for in a candidate. After listening to you talk for a while, it will be nice to hear them talk for a change…gives you a moment to catch your breath!