Welcome back to the existential crisis that is post grad life! We’re all in this together, and if you’re at this stage, congratulations! This means you either got the interview or expect to! Interviewing can be incredibly scary, but with Zoom now being the go to method of communication, you should be relaxing a little knowing you’ll get through this from the comfort of your own home. If you are by chance meeting in-person, get excited to see your new workspace and meet your bosses in person. Either way, it’s exciting!
In the excitement (or terror) of it all, you might forget that interviews are incredibly important and nailing it is an art form. First impressions are everything and I don’t care what anyone says, everyone is judging you for everything. The way you look, the way you speak, and just the way you carry yourself into the interview will have someone making assumptions and decisions about you within the first 10 seconds you meet. But, you’re perfect and the way you cary yourself will get you to the perfect job for you, but we can clean up around the edges a little bit, right? Planning and prepping are the keys here. Let’s get into it and what you should do before an interview:
- Research EVERYTHING
Find out everything there is to know about the company, what their benefits are, past employee reviews, client reviews, and pictures of the workspaces. Find out how long the commute would be and what traffic looks like daily. Find out who is interviewing you and who your bosses would be if hired. This allows you to go in fully prepared to negotiate, manage your expectations, and truly decide if this workspace is the right fit for you. It also allows you to be more personable and find common interests or gain a leg up asking them about previous experiences and personal preferences.
2. Plan and Study
Now that you know the position you applied for is the position you will be hired for, do some more digging on what that really means. I know fresh out of college I knew somethings, but not what every position I applied for truly entailed. Find out if the position is a good fit for you and your style of learning and working, then see if the typical growth path from there is something you’re interested in. If not, are you comfortable using this job as a stepping stone to a different position or are you ok working with this company long term? Have a list of questions ready for the interviewer and ask things such as:
- What is the average personality type of the people I will be working with?
- Do the higher-ups expect entry level workers to stay after and be available 24/7?
- Do you personally use the benefits available at this job? are they beneficial?
- What skills outside of the job description would help me in this position?
- What is your personal favorite part of the job?
I also recommend typing out relevant information about yourself to answer the typical “So, tell us about yourself” bit in the interview so they can get a glimpse of who you are and why you’re good for the job but you’re not rambling about college and all of that.
Lastly, be informed on how to negotiate a salary. A lot of us have been raised to not talk about money and it can make for an unbalance in work and pay. Some places will take advantage of your shyness and underpay you for your talent and work. Be prepared and have a few numbers ready that are reasonable. Remember, always start high.
3. Pick an outfit early
Remember: your research will help you here. Find out the vibe of the workplace and dress for the occasion. Overdressed is always better than under dressed. Make sure to pick something you have worn before and are comfortable in. If you’re worried about a loose thread on your collar or how tight your work pants are, you will be too distracted to be your best self at the interview. A power suit is something you look and feel your best in.
4. Have post-interview questions, thoughts, and gifts
I always like to get the interviewers email or their assistant and send some follow-up questions. You might have been nervous or forgotten to ask some important things, so it’s always nice to get those answered. If you have a feeling you might not be hired, send them a subtle email asking them their thoughts on your performance and areas you can improve on for future work with them. Lastly, if it is somewhere you really want to work, like dream job level, send flowers as a thank you for the process. People like to feel appreciated and it will help you stand out against competitors.
Best of luck to you, babe! You’ve made it this far! Stay in touch for part 3 – What to do now that you’ve got the job.