10 Steps To Prepare For (and Ace) Your Next Interview

June 9, 2016

Don't miss Hustle Su​mmit on Friday, July 21st in NYC and on Thursday, September 27th in Chicago: hustlesummit.co.  


You’ve sent out your resume, newly pristine, and filled out the application. You worked on your cover letter, making it a representation of you. And then, you waited. And you waited. Now, you’ve made it to the next step. You got the interview and your heart starts racing.

 

 

The interview is simultaneously the most exciting and nerve-wracking part of the application process. It’s this heart-bending, sweat inducing feeling of elation that ohmygod – a company is interested in you, interested in employing you!

 

Landing the job of your dreams is just steps away but, sometimes, the biggest obstacle is taking the right steps to acing the interview.

 

Here are 10 awesome tips to prepare for (and ace) your next interview:

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Homework
 

 


Research the HECK out of the company, the person interviewing you, the building, EVERYTHING.

This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do their homework before going to an interview. They’ll go into the interview and the recruiter might ask them why they want to work at the company and they’ll stumble and say something like “I just really like the brand’s mission statement” or something vague and obscure. Hiring Manager’s aren’t stupid – they know when someone has no clue about where they’re interviewing.

Take five or ten minutes the night before and really look into the company. See what projects they’ve done, what events they’ve put on. Find out everything you need to know about the company and make yourself an expert so that you can confidently answer any questions thrown your way. This isn’t just beneficial for the hiring manager, but beneficial for you because researching a company means finding out how you’ll fit into it. 

Once, when I was interviewing for my previous internship, I stalked, uhm, researched the woman hiring me so much and found out she was a big Harry Potter fan. I have a Slytherin case on the back of my phone, casually slipped it into conversation, and at the end of the interview, ended up discussing Harry Potter with her for a few minutes. I got the job (not because of Harry Potter, but we had a common bond and I think that made me memorable). We still talk about Harry Potter sometimes.  A little research can go a long way. I promise.

 

Get to Know Everything About the Role You’re Interviewing For

 

This is basically part 2 of “Do Your Homework” but don’t just research the company. Really know what role you’re interviewing for. Write down key terms in the job listing so you can use them when you’re answering questions. This will show the hiring manager that you really know your stuff and that you really want the job instead of making it seem like you’re just blindly interviewing because you need a job.
 

Print Out a Few Copies of Your Resume
 

 



Do this the night BEFORE your interview. You don’t want to have to deal with printing problems in the morning that could potentially make you late. Always print out more than one copy of your resume, just in case there is more than one hiring manager or you are suddenly thrown into a second interview (which happens, a lot). Always expect  to meet more people than you Make sure to put it in a folder or somewhere that will keep it pristine. You don’t want to hand the hiring manager a wrinkled piece of paper because it got caught in the claws of your purse or briefcase.
 

Practice, Practice, Practice
 

 


Even if you’re a seasoned pro, practicing answering questions is always a good idea. Stand in front of a mirror or record yourself answering typical interview questions so that you have a good idea about what you’re going to say and how you say it. You don’t want to sound rehearsed or robotic, but practicing answering questions can ease your nerves a bit because you’ll have the chance to really know what you’re going to say. It’s just always better to know you’re not going in completely blind.
 

Pick Out What You’re Going to Wear
 

 


This is not only a time saver, but it’s another tip to make you feel at ease with the process. Pick out what you’re going to wear the night before, iron it if you have to, and lay it out so that it’s ready to go when you need to put it on. Confidence is a huge key to a successful interview and knowing you’re going to wear an outfit that makes you feel confident will allow you to walk into the interview feeling good about yourself and your head held high. Though you’re most likely not going to be hired on your outfit alone, making sure you look put together and professional is a great way to make an instant good first impression.
 

Pack Your Bag With the Essentials

 

 



You never know what’s going to happen the day of your interview. Sometimes the interview gods are not the most forgiving and little mishaps can happen. Prepare for them. Pack business cards, a lint-roller and Tide-To-Go stain remover. For those who wear them, bring an extra pair of tights (because those things love to run) and comfy shoes to wear on the commute (so you’re not hobbling on one foot into the interview room) Once, I was on the train heading to an interview once and, I kid you not, a man eating a sandwich without a wrapper holding the contents (who does that??) took a giant bite and a nice, giant piece of ranch smothered avocado landed with a plop in my newly dry-cleaned lap. If I didn’t have my stain remover pen, I think I would have just died of avocado-and-ranch induced mortification or fled into the sewers to live with the rats.

It’s never a bad idea to plan for the worst (even if everything goes smoothly).

 

Bring a Notebook and Pen
 

 


It is always efficient to have a notebook and pen handy. You might not always have time to use it or it might not be the right kind of space (this is something you have to use your judgement on) but you never know when you’ll need to take notes or write something down. Just showing that you’re prepared is an opportunity to impress the hiring manager with how put together and “on it” you are.

Prepare Questions

 


In almost every interview, you’ll be asked “Do you have any questions for me?” by the person interviewing you. Come up with 2 or 3 really solid questions about the hiring manager, the role, the company itself that will not only show you did your homework but that you’re really curious about the role. If you’re stumped about what to ask, some good, generic go-to questions to ask are:
-“What would my day to day be like if you were to hire me?”
-”What have you enjoyed most about working here?”
-”What are some challenges that the person who fills this position might face?”


Go to Sleep Early

 



I know I probably sound like a parent but go to sleep early the night before. Make sure you’re fully rested. A good night sleep will help you feel less stressed and more confident the next day. Additionally, wake up a little early. Make sure you have a nice breakfast and leave with ample time before the interview.

Don’t Stress

 

 

 

This interview is, of course, going to be a big deal for you but don’t sweat the small stuff. Even if things don’t go as planned, go into the interview with your head held high and a smile on your face. Emit confidence and it’ll radiate through you. Regardless of whether this interview will land you your next job or is just the beginning of a string of interviews, know that you’re prepared. You’re ready. The job of your dreams is so close to being yours.
 

 

Don't miss Hustle Su​mmit on Friday, July 21st in NYC and on Thursday, September 27th in Chicago: hustlesummit.co.  



 

 

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