I am by no means a career guru. I’ve had my fair share of jobs, but I wouldn’t deem myself as particularly “professional” and I definitely thrive in a more casual work setting. I once realized post-interview that I had matched with my interviewer on Bumble and ghosted him a few months prior. It’s not my strong suit (…both dating and professionalism). My roommate Julia, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. I come to her for just about anything regarding work or freelance and she usually has the answers. Did I mention she’s younger than I am? There’s that. She’s helped me come up with 7 ways to prepare for a job interview so you can show up to your next one prepared with the spirit of Pfeif within you.
Have a reason that you’re leaving your current job, but spin it in a positive way.
There’s a reason you’re looking into leaving your current job. I think it’s pretty obvious to say not to speak poorly on the company that you’re currently at (or at least I hope it is). But make sure that you have a reason why you’re leaving that’s professional. You’re bored at your current position? “I’m looking for more of a challenge.” Your boss is a royal asshole? “I want to learn to work with different management styles.”
Dig through the company’s website/social media/any collateral they have to get to know them as best as possible.
Throwing in random knowledge of the company throughout the interview and showing that you’re familiar with a brand is a big ego boost. Mentioning how they do something that may pertain to you and your position shows you did your homework and know what you’re getting into.
Be prepared to ask more questions than they ask you.
This shows that you’re actually interested and want to take the time to learn more about the company as well as the position you could potentially be accepting.
Have enough resumes for everyone you’re interviewing with + 3 spares. Bring a notebook, pen, and bonus points for business cards.
This is easiest way to come prepared to an interview. They may have your resume already printed out; but they may not. Have notes for the interview in a notebook in case for some reason you blank on something, and have a pen handy to write down notes that you can include in your thank you follow up later on.
Always spin a negative question into a positive answer.
You can assume that you’re going to get asked what your biggest weakness as an employee is, or a time that you faced a challenge and what you did to overcome it. Take this as an opportunity to highlight your strengths over your weaknesses. “I work well under pressure, so I don’t feel as challenged when I don’t have a lot on my plate.”
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
This is completely self explanatory. I personally won’t overdress for an interview solely because I don’t plan on overdressing every single day. (Seriously someone tell me the last time they saw me in a dress and heels). But that doesn’t mean I’m going to dress like I would on a regular day either. Don’t dress like Hilary Clinton, but don’t dress like Miley Cyrus either. Guys- nix the polo and khakis for the day.
Send personalized thank yous to everyone you interviewed with.
Like I mentioned above, I try to remember a little something from the interview to personalize my follow up with. Maybe you hit it off and had something in common, or maybe one part of the job description or company culture stood out to you. Either way, show that you paid attention.
What are your lifehacks for interviews? Do you have certain questions you like to ask your interviewer, or have answers lined up for their potential questions? What are some mistakes you’ve made at interviews in the past?