Beat the interview jitters.
Interview jitters. You know the ones. Queasy stomach, sweaty palms, awkward laugh. How the heck do you turn that into “I’m your superstar, hire me!” Read on friend, this article is the helping hand you need.
The one thing to remember, is that there is no such thing as over-prepared.
Your goal mindset prior to an interview is to be prepared but not cocky (cockiness is usually not met warmly by the interviewer). Generally, you will receive a request for an interview a week to a few days prior. If you receive an interview request, it means you probably already covered your basic prep (yay)!
However. We’re trying to eliminate any ounce of doubt in your mind that you “haven’t got this”. So here’s 17 hacks to help you #bossup.
Read up on all sources of information available about and from the company.
Try your very best to understand the company’s inner workings, what its objectives are, how it manages its brand, what its biggest project is at the moment and if it does any pro-bono work or supports a specific charity. Knowing these finer details will put you ahead of the game.
1. Google the company and ready any news that is published.
2. Jump onto LinkedIn and see what/if employees share any of their own company-relevant content.
3. Have a look at the company blog (a no-brainer) and read up on any press releases or annual reports that have been released (this will put you up in the 1% that would have actually taken the time to do this).
4. If possible, suss out who will interviewing you and find them on LinkedIn. Use the information on their profile to understand their role and where they fit in, in the organisation.
Beef out the link between you, the role and the hiring company.
The key word here is synergy. “The combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.” It needs to make 100% sense to the hiring company to take YOU on board.
5. You need to communicate why you are the sole outstanding candidate for the role and what you can bring to their team.
6. How do your capabilities fit in with the requirements of the role?
7. Are there any required skills that you are missing? Have you prepared an explanation for this (including solutions)?
8. Do your career goals align with the role on offer?
9. Do your values align with company objectives?
10. Does your personality traits align with the culture of the team/organisation?
Have. A. Plan.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that you have a well thought-out, logistical plan for the day of your interview. For example: The very last thing you want to be doing is checking the train schedule the morning of, finding out that your route is being affected by road works or waking up to a thunderstorm and having to take into account extra travel time.
11. If you’re taking public transport, check travel schedules 2 days before and have a general route mapped out. Check your schedule again the day before AND night before to make sure there are no surprises.
12. If you’re driving, check the route on Google Maps and take a test drive! Suss out your parking options and consider leaving 15 – 20 minutes buffer time to find a park. This may seem extravagant, but it’s pretty necessary, especially during business hours! If you do happen to arrive to your interview early, don’t walk straight into the office! Give yourself a chance to chill out and collect yourself. It’s best if you are 3 – 5 minutes early for your meeting rather than 10 – 20 minutes.
13. Have an #interviewoutfit planned well in-advanced (think 3 days before) AND a back-up if the weather decides to take a turn. You should be monitoring the weather right up until the day before – but remember these things can also change overnight!
14. What physical items will you be bringing to your interview? Do you need to print any additional papers out (definitely your Cover Letter + CV)! Do you have a notebook filled out with questions you’d like to ask, or additional answers to questions you’ve prepped for?
The little things that make a BIG difference.
These are a few of my own rules that I follow before an interview!
15. Maybe skip your morning coffee. *Gasp* Yep, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee. It’s a miracle drink, perks you right up and helps start your day off with a bang. BUT, it also has the tendency to take small stomach butterflies and give them the energy to start diving all over the place. Try a green tea instead and save the caffeine for your mental debrief afterwards.
16. Have a kick-ass playlist ready to go whilst you’re getting ready! My fave upbeat music always gets me in the mood to be my best self. Ps. Skip the bangers while you’re travelling there, as you might want to be using this time to review notes!!
17. Back yourself. To even land an interview is EPIC!! And no matter what the outcome, you beat tonnes of candidates to even get to this stage, which means the hirer sees an opportunity in YOU. Trust yourself to ‘wow’ them even further!!