A quick preamble: I'm not sure where this blog will end up in regards to content. For now, I've been writing about topics related to job searches and the lovely job hunt but that might change in the future. Why am I going through the labor of saying this? Because if you've been following along with me, and are not interested in job-search related topics, I ask you stick it out a little longer and we'll pivot together to something different; I'm sure of it.
Back to it.
So you've been searching and finally landed the interview. Well done - congrats! Now comes the "fun" part :)
Preparing for interviews is tough. It causes all kinds of self-doubt and anxiety. Also, it's hard to know exactly what the interview team will want to ask you about. Sure, you know the general areas but the specifics are what will sneak up on you.
You feel the pressure of having to preform. To communicate your value, in a since, to them through an awkward-at-best interaction.
But I also think that those conducting the interviews are nervous as well. They have the pressure to ask the right questions, make people feel comfortable, protect their culture, be responsible for the technical setup of the audio/video items, and much more.
It's tough for everyone and I think we all have the same fear - the same question running through our brains:
Will this be a waste of my time?
I remember when I first graduated college and had my first phone interview, a screening is more like it, with a tech company. To put it mildly, it went terrible. I remember ending the conversation with an apology for wasting the interviewer's time. I hung up in a depressed mood and shortly thereafter I received the "we're going forward with other applicants" email. Yep - good call.
The sad thing is not that I didn't land the job but that for years I really did consider that interview a waste of time. But the truth is that it never was!
It was me learning, getting reps, practicing. It was my first phone interview and I had no idea of what to expect. This interview made such an impact on me that I still talk about it today and it has shaped how I approach interviews to this day.
So, despite what you nervously tell yourself please remember
Preparing for and going through an interview is never a waste of time! It's practice and practicing always creates room for improvement.
Take the interview. Practice. Prepare. And learn. Each job is different and each interview will be different so approach it was a way to interact with other humans and at the very least be encouraging to them because remember they are likely nervous as well.
Before I jet, here are four interview prep tips I've collected over the years.
Before you laugh and dismiss it. Try it.
In running they say that to run faster you need to run faster and getting better at interviewing is the same.
Grab a friend, colleague, spouse, someone and have them mock interview you. Do this several times!
You will not be able to recreate the same feel as the real interview but what this does is help you determine how you want to portray yourself and at the very least get the bad reps out.
Defend Your Resume
In early stages of the hiring process, your resume is the core subject of discussion; it's what you've given them as a window into yourself and your work.
Be prepared to defend it!
Be able to talk, in detail, about your experiences, skills, and yourself in-general. Think of your resume as the answer guide to the test. Use it to answer their questions that start with "have you ever" or "give me a time when"
So study it, tweak it, and be able to speak about it.
It disarms people and makes them feel comfortable which is what you want as well.
Lead the interview and smile first.