Interviews can be an exciting, yet anxiety-inducing event. After all, those 20-45 minutes can determine whether you are embarking on a new venture within your career or whether you continue your search for the perfect position. The last thing you want to do is go into an interview blindly. It is crucial that you cross all your I’s and dot all your T’s before entering, as well as after, an interview. Meaning? Well, there are essential steps to take before and after the interview process to show you are the best choice for the position. Master the following essential tips to nail your interview!
1. Research The Company
Do thorough on the company you are interviewing for. Become familiar with company, its inspiration, values and history. Absorb this knowledge and use it in your interview. Expressing your interest/ knowledge about the companies values will show the interviewer how much interest you really have in the position and the company as a whole.
2. Prepare Beforehand
A few days before your interview, review your resume and have a mock interview (with someone else or solo). Act as if you are at your interview and answering questions that the interviewer would inquire about. Practicing beforehand will help you relax and develop a smooth delivery in your actual interview.
3. Dress Thoughtfully
Be wise about what your wear in an interview. Wear dress pants or skirt that is knee-length or longer. Wear a simple blouse and dress shoes (not too high). Keep your makeup simple, your hair neat and wear minimal jewelry.
4. The One Question You Must Nail
“Why are you the right candidate for this position?” This question may seem daunting but its actually the perfect setup to sell yourself and your skills to the interviewer/ hiring manager. When answering this question you want to include 4 things: that you can a) effectively accomplish the work, b) you will deliver excellent results, c) that you’ll really fit in with the team and d) that you’re a better hire than any of the other candidates.
5. Answering The Weakness Question
“What Would You Say Is Your Greatness Weakness?” The worst answer you can give to this question is, “I have no weaknesses”. The answer you give will tell the interviewer a lot about your character. They want to know that you are aware that you make mistakes. Managers know that no one is perfect. They want to know what your weakness is and how you overcome it to get the job done. They also want to know how you’ve handled obstacles in the past and how you will handle them in the future.
6. Body Language
Your body language says a lot about you and it will give insight to the interviewer, as well. Show confidence by having good posture. Sit up, high and straight in your chair. Give good eye contact. Not too much to where you’re staring them down but just enough to show you’re focused and interested in the interview. Lean in when listening to the interviewer. This is shows that you are engaged in the conversation. Lastly, smile and show enthusiasm- give the impression that there is nowhere else you’d rather be.
7. Follow-up Promptly
Before you leave the interview, ask the interviewer what happens next, this way you’ll know the appropriate time to follow up. If the interviewer says they’ll be contacting candidates within a week, you should follow up a few days after that. You don’t want to be annoying or pushy, but you want to be on the interviewers mind and show them you’re continual interest in the position.
After following these tips on nailing your interview, get ready to take on your new dream job!
Most of us have an established routine we follow everyday. Day in and day out, we wake up, get to work, and anticipate for the moment we can go home and have a glass of cabernet sauvignon and relax. I love a nice glass of wine just as much as the next girl, but take it from me, if you want to get ahead in your career and get the promotion you’ve been dying for, take your thoughts off the vino and put your focus into your work. The workplace is not the time to be the unmemorable wallflower, with an average job performance. When you set foot in your place of work, that is the time to show how dynamic of a worker you are and how serious you take your career. Luckily for you, I have the 10 essential ways to do just that. Follow this mini-guide on how to stand out in the workplace.
1. Always Represent Your Brand
Have a passion for your company and what you do. Not only will your enthusiasm for your company show in your behavior but this will heighten the quality of work you do and, ultimately, impress your employer (and clients).
2. Dress The Part
When you’re at work, you want to look the part and dress in a professional manner. The last thing you want to do is look underdressed, revealing or unkempt. Dedicate time to establish a solid and stylish wardrobe for work – which over time will become automatic and effortless. If you wear a work inform, always make sure your uniform is clean, your hair is neat, avoid chipped polish ( I use gel-polish as it lasts longer and I know some busy ladies who now just buff their nails at home which is less high-maintenance but equally polished) and make sure that your makeup is not overboard. These same rules also apply to those without a designated uniform, as well.
3. Contribute Regularly In Meetings
When in a meeting, many find it easy to simply sit and agree to what is being discussed. However, your employer is looking for those that speak up and have something to contribute to the issues at hand. Go into a meeting prepared and understand what topics are going to be discussed. Convey your ideas in a simple manner, but with enthusiasm. Show that you are in-tune and interested with whats being discussed by asking intelligent questions.
4. Be Proactive
Being proactive entails taking the initiative to take control of a situation and its outcome, i.e. to find the solution to any obstacle before a problem arises. Therefore, keeping any issues at bay. As a boss – I find that the my most valuable team members are those that not only see problems – they provide suggestions on how to overcome said issues.
5. Take The Lead When Possible
Exercise and develop your leadership skills (yes its a skill – and anyone can develop them with time and practice) by taking the initiative to take the lead every once in . a while. Offer to take the on a new project or spearhead the planning of the company’s annual picnic. It may not be the most prestigious or glamorous assignment but, whatever it may be, find an activity that needs to be done and accomplish it. In fact, taking on non-glamorous and low-key projects is best when you its your first time taking on something as a lead. Look for projects that will showcase your skills, as well, this will be a plus when the time comes for your evaluation.
6. Go Above & Beyond
It’s amazing to me that 80% of the time – most people are just doing the minimum at work. Leaders and oustanding employees are always continually striving to improve. Do this by listening to the feedback you receive from your employer or co-workers and actually apply whats being said to your performance. Soon you’ll realize that all the areas they would need to correct your work, no longer need correcting. This will save them the headache of extra work and impress them, at the same time.
7. Be A Team Player
Don’t be the lone-wolf kind of worker. Being a team player will help you develop necessary and valuable relationships with your co-workers and show your employer that you get along well with others- which is essential in the workplace.
8. Be Friendly and Kind, Without Being A Pushover
Similar to be a team player, being friendly and kind to those in the workplace will help you to build good relationships with those you work with. Take an interest in your co-workers. Be available to help them when they need assistance. However, don’t let anyone take advantage of you and your kindness. Don’t become the person everyone thinks they can dump their work on when they don’t want to do the work themselves.
9. Own Up To Your Mistakes
Don’t be the person that tries to place their mistakes on others or shift the blame onto someone else. Be honest and own up to the mistakes you’ve made. Your co-workers and employers will appreciate you for it.
10. Communicate Effectively
From experience, a lot of friction at work is actually due to miscommunication or words said in anger. I find that just repeating what someone has told you in your own words, or discussing (in a friendly way) about vague issues resolves a lot. Be aware when your emotions are taking over – when I am feeling angry, I try to hold off saying anything or emailing anyone for a couple of hours. Anger and frustration can stop you from thinking clearly and saying things you will later regret. Being a great communicator is one of those skills that will help you in all aspects of your professional and personal lives -which is why, it’s also the most valuable skill.
Let’s Conquer The World, In Style.
I work in publishing and (I say this in danger of tooting my own horn) in the last year I’ve done really well for myself. As people in my network start to take notice, I’ve been getting a lot of invites to “grab coffee,” which I’ve come to learn is code for “pick your brain.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love chatting with other creatives and bouncing ideas back and forth. However, when acquaintances I haven’t talked to in years ask me to grab lunch or coffee out of the blue, I hesitate. I don’t want to be rude but at the same time, I don’t like the idea of having my brain picked while I eat my tuna salad. How do I say no without coming off as a schmuck?
— Not a schmuck
Hello Schmuckless Darling,
I’ll confess that I cringe every time I hear the phrase “pick your brain.” The entire notion of seeking expertise under the guise of a Starbucks latte is much too contrived for my liking. However, I understand your guilt at turning someone away when at some point in your career, you most likely sought (and maybe still seek) similar advice from those you admire.
If it helps, you’re not alone. Many experts in their fields have even started charging for these so-called “lunches” at a cost that’s much more than your tuna salad.
“I offer free advice, when appropriate, but I feel it should be my call, not theirs,” says Steve Cony, president of Communications Counselors, tells NYP. “When someone asks to pick my brain, I bristle. My brain is how I earn my living — would you ask a plumber to unclog a drain for free?”
So, the next time you encounter an unsolicited brain picker, politely tell them that “I’d love to, but unless it’s for a consultation, I’m afraid I’ll have to pass. My rate is ___, if you’re interested and if so, we can figure out a time that works for both of us.” Don’t know how much to charge? There’s an app for that.
Of course, make sure you make time — free of charge — for old friends, those you want to curry favor from later and your most die-hard fans. And even for these pro-bono sessions try to go by these 3 rules.
You meet at a location convenient to you.
You meet a a time (and duration) convenient to you.
All you need to do is show-up and share your expertise.
If you have to do any kind of research/study, or really rack your brain to come up with solutions to help, forget it.
By the way, a tuna salad is too messy to eat in public. I’d suggest some portobello mushroom fries.
Photo by ICON