All these interviews I've been on lately have made me somewhat of an interview pro. Today, I thought I'd share some tips that have helped me get through the nerve wracking interview process.
#1. Be yourself. Sure, you hear that all the time. But, it's true. You don't want to walk into an interview pretending to be someone you're not. It's not easy to fake who you are (at least for me). Plus, employers will find out sooner or later what your true colors are. Don't act like someone you're not just to land the job. In my opinion, you'll end up unhappy. Don't be afraid to be you and the job you've always wished for will come your way.
#2. Tell the truth. I'm the world's worst liar, so this is easy for me. Be honest with the people interviewing you. The second you start lying, things can get super difficult. Lies are hard to keep up with. The interviewer will remember the lie, you might not. Don't lie about your skills. If you don't have a skill they are looking for, be honest... but on the same hand, tell them that it's a skill you'd love to learn. Leave it on a positive note.
#3. Give specific examples. Interviewers hear the same things over and over again. Sure, you're organized, able to work at a fast pace, able to multi-task, and you can do a triple back flip with your eyes closed and land on one foot.... but none of that matters unless you can back it up with examples. Give an example of that time that you were doing 50 things at once in a matter of minutes, all with a smile on your face. Prove your worth.
#4. Keep excellent eye contact and have fresh breath. I always chew gum before an interview. Remember to spit it out though beforehand. Fresh breath is a must. After all, you're doing most of the talking. While talking, be sure to have eye contact with the interviewer(s). This is still hard for me. I tend to look all over the place like some kind of freak of nature because I get so nervous at times. I've learned that steady eye contact helps settle nerves.
#5. Speak s l o w l y. I'm definitely someone who talks extremely fast when I'm nervous. I get off on a tangent and then the nervous laugh comes into play. Oy. This is another thing I still work on at every interview. Stick to the question being asked. No tangent. No fast slurred talking. No nervous laugh. Hahaha, yeah right. Pretty sure I'll always have the nervous laugh.
#6. Don't ask about how much you'll be paid. In my opinion, it's inappropriate to ask about money until the second interview...or third. It just comes off as though money is the only thing you care about. While money is obviously why most of us go to work everyday, it's important to show interviewers how you will be an asset to their company. When they offer you the job, then you can inquire about money. (all my own opinion of course)
#7. Dress your best. Please oh please don't go to your interview dressed in jeans. Or flip flops. Or chipped nail polish. I learned the nail polish one the hard way when I had an interviewer comment on it. Yeah. That was fun............no, not at all.
#8. Smile. A smile is worth a million bucks. It's key to a good first impression. So go ahead and flash those big ol` pearly whites.
#9. Be confident and think positive. Walk into that interview like you're a million bucks. Hold your head high. You are worthy. Know your worth. After the interview, remain confident. Think positive. Easier said than done. I'm still working on this. I'm a nervous nelly sometimes. Ok, all the time.
#10. Be prepared. Have a bunch of resumes on hand. Maybe even some reference letters. I always have copies of my reference letters and resume on hand. And nine times out of ten, interviewers always always always ask for them. It's super embarrassing if you don't have what they ask for.
#11. Treat yourself afterwards. For me, I treat myself to McDonalds #10 meal (chicken nuggets, for those of you wondering). I usually am too nervous to eat before an interview, so when it's all said and done, I treat myself to whatever the heck I want. Usually chicken nuggets. I know, I'm 12.
Now go out there and be fabulous!