We are in the thick of interview season, whether you are an intern finalizing your spring internship, a senior trying to nail down a job after you graduate, or just looking for something new in your career. I’ve been on both sides of the table as the interviewee and interviewer and I have a learned A LOT of helpful tips. Hopefully, these interview tips below will help you land your next dream job!
Before we get too heavy in interview tips, let’s first start with the résumé. Afterall, if you don’t have a standout résumé you won’t even make it to the interview phase.
Get a template from Etsy
When I was applying for my first job after college, I thought what I had was a perfect résumé. Looking back, boy was I wrong! I had the opportunity to move up quickly in the company at my first job and became very aware what employers were looking for in résumé. In a creative field like social media, graphic design, advertising, etc. you need to have an equally creative résumé.
If you don’t have the graphic design skills or have time to redo your résumé, you can buy résumé templates on Etsy for about $10. This will give you that creative edge and make your résumé pop in the sea of boring ones. I promise it will be the best $10 you’ve ever spent!
ALWAYS spell check, use Grammarly, and have your mother, friends, mentor, etc. proof your résumé. I cannot tell you how many résumés I’ve looked at where within the first sentence there is a typo. Bye, I’m not reading any further if you have a typo.
Send as a PDF
I feel like this is something they don’t teach you in school. ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS, send your résumé as a PDF. It makes the employer’s life so much easier. It’s faster to open, easier to read and there’s no room for error. When sending in Word, there is so much room for error. What if the company you are applying for is only on Macs? What if the employer’s version of Word is brand new or super outdated? This is going to cause the formatting to be distorted.
Include your name in the file name
This is another thing I feel like they don’t tell you in school. ALWAYS include your name in your résumé file. As an employer, I am downloading many résumés. If your résumé is 2018resume.pdf and I have 30 résumés on my computer what is going to make me remember your résumé from the other “2018resume.pdf”?
Don’t over exaggerate
You always want to talk yourself up on paper and give yourself the credit you deserve, but don’t over-exaggerate or lie. I once came across a résumé that said “Founder of XXX clothing brand”. I was confused because this was for an intern position. I did a little research and found out that this person owned a buy sell trade Instagram account with about 200 followers. Founder seems a little extra and left a bad taste in my mouth.
You’ve got their attention with your résumé and now it’s time to wow them. Here are some interview tips to land that dream job!
Always bring your résumé
It is better to be prepared than left empty-handed. Even though they might not need your résumé showing up prepared always makes you look your best.
Better to be overdressed than under
I’ve only had one job in my career where the attire was business professional and it was a summer internship. All of my other jobs the attire was pretty casual. Even though this has been the case, I have always worn business professional to every interview. I actually have an “interview” dress that I’ve worn to every job interview I’ve ever had.
Even though the company’s dress may be casual, it gives off the impression that you care and again are putting your best foot forward.
Do research on the company
It is very easy to tell when someone has no clue about the company they are applying for. I suggest researching everything you can find out about the company. Check all their social platforms, read any articles you can find, pretend you are trying to stalk an ex-boyfriend. The more you know the better! This will also help you decide if you’ll be a good fit for them as well.
Look up interviewer on LinkedIn
I often hear people say they don’t like to look at people’s profiles on LinkedIn because it shows the person you looked at. I always say, “Good I want them to know I’m looking at them.” It all goes back to the research stage.
Knowing someone’s background can help you better guess the type of questions they are going to ask. If you are being interviewed by someone and their background is heavy in PR, then they’re probably going to have a greater focus on writing and grammar. If you are being interviewed by someone who has a heavy social media background, then they are going to probably ask social media specific questions.
You are going to be nervous, but try to be self-aware. There is nothing more annoying than someone clicking their pen or twirling their hair. It comes across as unprofessional and makes you appear nervous when you want to seem calm, cool, and collected.
You always want to make sure you are listening to what they are saying, not thinking about what you are about to say.
Answer the questions
Do your best to answer the questions. There is nothing worse than someone just saying I don’t know several times and having to move on to the next question.
Last but definitely not least, be yourself! You might not be a fit for every company and that’s ok! If you are trying to be someone you aren’t then you probably won’t last even if you do get the job.
Best of luck on your job search! Check out more business-related posts here.