PREPARE TO SUCCEED
Whether you're trying to land an internship, full-time position, or even get a promotion, here's a basic guide on how to leave the interview feeling like you did your absolute best. More importantly, this guide will help you leave a lasting impression on the interviewers that you were unanimously one of their best candidates.
HOW TO PREPARE*
List Required Skills & Abilities
Review the job description and create a list of skills needed for the job (i.e. negotiation, problem solving, collaboration, analytical ability, etc.)
List Examples & Success Stories
Create 2-3 examples for each skill you listed. Also make a list of 3-5 success stories.
Here's one example of a success story:
Highlight Characteristics & Attributes
Here's the fun part where you get to dive into all the things that make you so great! For each example you've created, come up with 1-3 characteristics you have that helped aid in making the results possible.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Prepare for your interview by having a mentor/coach ask you interview questions. Let them know what skills you want to hone in on so they can google search a few questions that target those topics. This will also give you the chance to get used to picking the best example for different types of questions. I recommend doing at least 5 mock interview questions. From there, you can google questions on your own and practice answering them. Consider recording your responses to determine if you're rambling or leaving out important information. Make sure you can answer the inevitable first question, "Tell me about yourself," in 90 seconds.
It's best to treat every opportunity you get to interact with the employer as a formal interview even if it's over the telephone. There's nothing worse than being on a phone call and not being prepared to answer the tough questions because you didn't prepare.
Remember to practice some challenging questions. These questions are critical because you want to prove that even when you're given lemons, you know how to make lemonade. Some examples include:
Use STAR - Situation. Task. Action. Result(s).
Seek Additional Guidance
This recommendation is based solely on your needs and what you feel like you're missing from your interview prep. For example, if someone with no experience in your field of interest helped you prepare for the mock interview, you may want to utilize your network to speak with someone who works at the organization where you've applied or at least works in the industry. If you're still in school, reach out to a coach at your campus' career center for advice. If you're pursuing a position at an organization where you already work, use your current supervisor, the manager of the position you're pursuing, and employees that have done that position as a resource.
Do Your Research
We've thoroughly tackled how to talk about yourself, but have you considered how you'll talk about your knowledge of the position, the organization, and the industry as a whole? Here's a few topics to consider:
Leave a Lasting Impression
Prepare questions for the telephone screening/interview as well as any in-person interviews. One of those questions should always include "What is the next step in the hiring process?" or "When should I expect to hear back from you with your decision?". Here's a few other suggestions:
Thank You Email
Send a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview. The sooner you send the email, the better because they'll remember you. This also gives you the opportunity to highlight something the interviewer said that stood out to you. Examples are provided below. I recommend google searching other examples for further guidance.
This example is ideal for after an telephone interview:
This example is ideal for after an in-person interview:
*By this point, you've already updated your resume to reflect the skills and experiences that are valuable to the position you're pursuing. I'd recommend getting help from a mentor on your resume and cover letter before applying. If that's not possible, be sure to have someone look over your resume before the interview. You can always provide an updated copy in-person. Be sure to bring several copies for everyone in the room.
GO TO GROW
My last piece of advice is to prepare under the notion that this is your chance to sell yourself. I fully advocate that you HUMBLY BRAG about how great you are! There's no room for modesty. You want the interviewer to be thoroughly convinced that you're already so awesome that they should choose you.
Regardless of the outcome, you've gained something much greater, which is simply knowing your worth. The saying 'what is for you is for you' applies, but it's also important to recognize that a job isn't everything. You can get "the job" only to find out that it isn't for you. You could get "the job" and find out it most definitely is for you. My point is that I've found more value in striving for success in order to grow than striving for success in hopes of achieving perfection.
I hope this guide is insightful! I'm always happy to help, so feel free to leave a comment or contact me on instagram @livingSOULplete.
Until next time, beYOUtiful, keep life sweet, and never stop feeding your soul. -xo