Interviewing for a job can feel stressful and overwhelming. With so much riding on a single interaction, helping candidates prepare to present themselves well is some of the most important work we do. Check out some of our favorite tips in preparing our candidates.
- Be the best version of yourself: This might seem obvious, but surprisingly, many people cram for an interview the night before, squeeze it in on their phone before a meeting, or stay out too late the night before and are definitely not their best selves. You want to be fully present, relaxed, and sharp for this interaction. Spend a little time taking care of yourself. Get sleep the night before, schedule some down time right before and after.
- Put me in, coach! Consider and showcase your impact to a team and how you’ll contribute to the ecosystem of the organization. Oftentimes, interviewers will open by asking the interviewee to “Tell us about yourself and why you’re interested in this role”. Resist the urge to regurgitate your resume. Rather, tell them what kind of teammate you are and what you can contribute to the other people in the organization. For example, “On every team I’ve been a part of, I tend to be the ideas person”, or, “I’m always the person who will raise the bar for the people around me, and I enjoy seeing people reach their goals”. This is a far more compelling response than repeating information that they’ve already read on your resume.
- Approach the interview like a consultant: This is time tested advice from our founder, Shelley Crooks, especially if you are someone who gets nervous in an interview. Take the mindset that you are a consultant and the interviewers are your potential client. It all begins with your thinking; it’s less about impressing them and more about taking the intentional steps to listen well to understand their greatest needs. When they ask if you have questions, dig deeper into those needs and be able to reflect on how you might be able to help serve them in those areas.
- Avoid New Year’s Resolutions: I’m going to lose 20 pounds. I’m going to watch less TV. I’m going to run a marathon. These are all future “hopeful behaviors”. You’ve heard it said, the greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Even if the interviewer asks you how you would approach “x, y, z situation” in the future, be sure to answer it with an example of how you’ve responded to a similar situation in the past and how you would apply that learning to future challenges. Providing specific past examples will show your interviewer they can trust you will be competent to handle their future problems.
- Practice your Greatest Hits: Spend some time thinking through your strongest accomplishments, goals met, and crises overcome. Consider the circumstances of that situation, what you specifically did to act and how it turned out. If you can practice telling those stories and really thinking through the context of those situations, you’ll be surprised how many questions you’ll be able to answer from those “greatest hits”. Whether it’s how you adjusted on the fly, how you diversified your sales, or even how you worked through a difficult client or teammate relationship, these examples will be great to draw from because you’ve already thought about them ahead of time.
- Close Strong: At the end of the interview you’ll want to give a “Summary Statement.” Remembering you are a consultant, review what you heard to be the main needs of the interviewer and summarize for them how you would fulfill these needs. The more specific you can be the better. In the end, the person who best demonstrates his or her ability to solve whatever problems the company believes they have will be the person selected for the job. Let them know you’re interested in joining the team to meet those needs.
At the end of the day, the more you can be the very best version of yourself in an interview, the better chance you have of a great fit in the long run when you land that role.