Read on for my top ten tips on how to have best interview of your career.
Being a recruiter at a fast-growing company means conducting thousands of phone screens and hundreds of interviews every year. With that kind of volume, you get really opinionated about the best way to approach an interview. Check out my top 10 recommendations below, and if you want to practice them in a low-stress environment, swing by the Adpearance Open House for open interviews, speed dating-style.
1. There’s a polished version of you. Own it.
Too many candidates walk through our doors looking wildly uncomfortable—sweating and tugging at ill-fitting clothes. Rather than ensuring that you nail classic definitions of professional dress, find an outfit that represents your business side. To get the job, you need to be professional, comfortable, and confident.
2. Read key documents—yours and ours.
Good candidates read up on the company’s website and social media before interviewing, but great candidates brush up their own specifics too. Look again at the job description, what you said in your cover letter, and how you customized your resume for the role.
3. Prepare questions that identify you as a good fit.
In case you are wondering, everyone asks what I like most about working for Adpearance. (It’s the people.) Differentiate yourself by being curious and showing that you read up on the company. Frankly, if you can’t find something interesting to ask about, you probably don’t want to work there.
4. There’s such a thing as too early.
Understand that being timely means you are on time—not late, but not too early either. When interviewees show up 20-30 minutes in advance of our scheduled time, it’s awkward. If you’re nervous about being late, arrive early and walk around the block, listen to your favorite music in the car, or 'power pose' in a nearby coffee shop.
5. Don’t show up empty-handed.
Frankly, it’s disconcerting when interviewees show up with nothing more than a smile. Come to an interview as if you are expecting to learn something and engage. Bring a notebook, pen, and a couple of copies of your resume. Even if you don’t use them, you’ll look prepared.
6. Know why you are here.
Why do you want to work for the company you’re interviewing with? In that particular city? In the industry? You should answer these questions for yourself, but absolutely be prepared to answer these basics at any interview.
7. Expect that you don’t have experience in everything the role requires.
When writing a job description, I work with the hiring manager to sketch the perfect candidate, but that doesn’t mean you must fit neatly within the bounds of the job description—interviewees will have more experience or less in certain areas. Stand-out candidates are transparent, and they demonstrate the curiosity to learn or express ways they’ve done similar work.
8. Be you—not who you think we want you to be.
You may be able to fake who you are for an hour or two, but it would be exhausting to do that for 40 hours a week for years. Instead of twisting yourself into a knot to get the job, be the best version of yourself. The right job wants that.
9. Don’t ask about work/life balance.
I’m going to risk the comments from this tip because you need to hear this: Work/life balance is a bad question. It’s general and even the most abusive company in the world can respond to it positively. Instead, look for indicators of a healthy company that shares your values and ask for specifics if you spot warning signs.
10. Think deeply about what next step you want.
Of course, we all want the validation that comes from a job offer. (“You like me! You really like me!”) But consider what you are looking for in a job. You should be gauging if this company is the right fit just as much as the company is evaluating you. And it’s on you to ask questions to get the answers you need to be confident—especially if you are relocating.
Ready to ace the interview?
Adpearance added 23 terrific new hires to our team in Q1 of 2018, and we don’t have plans to slow down anytime soon. If you want to discuss my opinions on interviewing—or better yet—want to work with Adpearance, apply for a position or stop by the Adpearance Open House on April 17th from 4-7 for speed-dating style, open interviews. We can’t wait!