Things To Help You Win The Interview
Let’s face it. Interviews can be tough. Do it well and you might land the job of your dreams. Your future depends on you saying and doing the right thing, so there’s a lot riding on the line.
Before you go into your next interview, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Relax. If you are uncomfortable, it will not only be obvious to you but to the interviewer as well. Most creative types I know suffer from some form of insecurity or “imposter syndrome”— that at any minute someone will discover that you don’t have any real talent. This belief will erode your confidence and not allow you to perform your best. Now, it’s easy to say just relax, but it’s much harder to do. Keep this in mind that if you’ve been called in for an interview, you are already qulalified for the job. How do I know? Well, as someone who has interviewed my share of people, I would never call in someone unless I felt they were qualified. The purpose of the interivew was to learn more about their personality.
- Be a good listener. The interview is not about you. It’s about how you can help your potential employer. Gauge interest and allow the conversation to flow. Watch for indicators of interest from the interviewer. Pay attention to see if they lean in or if their eyes widen. Are they smiling during the interview? If so, ask if they’d like to know more. The worst thing to do is to force the interviewer to look at your work or listen to your stories despite showing little to no interest. If you’re a designer, be prepared to go off your “script” and show only a few pieces versus your whole portfolio. If they’re interested, spend time to talk about the work. When you are ready to move on, ask, “Shall I continue with the next piece?”
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know. Can I follow up with you later?”.If you’re hit with a tough question or something that falls outside of your expertise, admit that you don’t know. Say, “I have never heard that term before. Can you tell me what you mean?” Compliment the interviewer that their question raises deeper questions that require a more thoughtful response. The worst thing you can do is nod and be totally lost or to make up an answer. This will be obvious to the interviewer that you have no idea what you are talking about and will make up an answer. So in other words, punt, and follow up with the interviewer after you’ve had time to think about the answer. You’ll gain so much more respect by doing so.
- Be memorable. Keep in mind that employers often interview multiple candidates, so what will make you stand out? What will they remember days later when reviewing possible candidates? Rather than try to be some version of you that you think they want, be yourself. Win them over with your curiosity, openess and honesty.
- Follow up immediately. It’s important to thank the interviewer for their time after the meeting. But it’s more important to do so in writing, and I don’t mean an email. Do it the old-fashioned way and actually write a hand written note expressing your gratitude and appreciation. This will help you with tip #4 (Be Memorable). Writing and sending a note shows that you are serious, professional and genuinely appreciate the opportunity. It also tells the interviewer that you have great follow through and sets the tone for how it might be like to work with you.
Hope these tips help. Now, go win the job you’ve always wanted.