Nailing the Interview

Landing a job involves masterful execution of several key steps. Perhaps one of the most important is the interview. Below are a few tips to help you nail the interview before you even walk into the room.

1. Do your research.

Fill as many knowledge gaps as possible on your own. This helps you and the interviewer make the most of your time together by staying focused on more critical questions and topics that can help inform the next steps for you. Ask yourself: What are the details of the role and responsibilities? Who is the interviewer? How is the company performing? What’s the latest news involving the company or its key executives? The answer to these questions and more can be found online, but there’s another resource that you should consider to help you get the answers you need. Read below.

2. Tap your network.

As you begin doing your research one of your biggest sources of information can be your very own network. Think about your alumni organization(s), social & civic groups, church, professional organizations, friends, family, and even old co-workers. Chances are someone you know has some insight into the company or role – or at the very least they know someone who can help shed some light on the opportunity.

3. Check your online footprint.

It is not uncommon for employers to investigate a candidate’s online presence as part of the vetting process. An internet search of your name can reveal links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts and so much more! It’s a good idea to scrub all of your social media accounts prior to beginning a job search to ensure your privacy settings are where you want them and there aren’t any unflattering posts or photos linked to your profiles. A general rule of thumb: there’s no such thing as privacy when it comes to social media and just because you delete it doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. So be careful, folks. Make your social media accounts work for you, not against you.

4. Practice.

Grab a friend, relative, or mentor and sit down with them for a mock interview. Have them ask you questions as the interviewer and give you honest feedback. If they can videotape you that’s great! No one around to help you out? Prop up your phone camera somewhere near you and record yourself answering a few anticipated questions. Review the video and make any adjustments accordingly. Remember, you want to look and sound confident, professional, and polished.

5. Be on time. 

Arriving late for an interview is not okay, ever. Weather, traffic, petcare/childcare dilemmas, getting lost – late is late and it matters. So plan ahead. If you anticipate being late (I get it, things do happen), always give your interviewer the courtesy of a phone call (and email, if possible) with your estimated time of arrival. Be understanding if their schedule cannot accommodate your tardiness and thank them for their understanding and flexibility.