I’ve seen my fair share of jobs – who hasn’t!? – and I’ve always been really lucky to land every position I’ve ever wanted. That being said, I’ve learn’t a ton from interviewing and I think you could totally use some of the tips I’ve got to share if you’re on the hunt for a job.
1. What’s Your Why?
Why did you apply for the job anyway? Hint: Don’t say because you’re on your last packet of instant noodles, have $2 left in the bank & are going to start selling limbs to pay off your student loans. It’s not amateur hour. Regardless of whether it’s your dream job or not, you wouldn’t apply for a job you don’t actually want to do, so why are you applying for that position in that industry? What about it lures you? Where are you hoping to go? Everybody out there is driven by a ‘why’. I’m building my own business. Why? Cause I want to enjoy my flippin’ life. Eric Thomas knows his ‘why’. Figure out yours, and you’ll be kilometres ahead of the other job huntees.
2. Do The Research That Most Job Hunters Don’t Do Anyway
There’s gold in knowing all you can know about the company you’re getting into bed with (metaphorically speaking). Employers love when you come into the interview gushing about their company – it reaffirms their own reasoning for arriving at the doors 9am sharp every day for the last 15 years. Google the usual: What their company is about, how they started, what drives them, social media pages and who the head honcho’s are. This is the quickest way to find out if you’d even like the company.
3. Prepare For The Questions You’ll Be Asked & Become A Pro At Answering Them
Arm yourself with intelligent thought-out responses to these questions and you’ll have your interviewer in the palm of your hand. What do you know about our company? Why do you want to work for us? Tell us about a negative situation that arose in your last position and how you handled it? What did your previous manager do that you disliked? What do you believe are your strengths & weaknesses? Why do you think you’re the best candidate for this role? How do you want to be managed? Tell us about your experience in this industry? Bonus Round: Suit up on behavioural questions.
4. Get Amped Like You’re About To Carve Up The Clubs
Modesty aside – make a ‘hell yeah!’ playlist. I know you more than likely already have one. Listen to it on your way to the interview. Actually. I know you’re nervous. But not only will fist pumping in your car amp you up, but it will ease the nerves. It’s also a form of power posing, which Amy Cuddy explains so eloquently.
5. Dress Like A Boss – Literally
I’m actually incredibly laid back when it comes to managing a team. But when it comes to interviews, if you wear jeans, I’m not hiring you. In saying that, don’t play it safe, play it smart. Dress for the role but treat your outfit like an extension of your personality. Think of it like this, the ‘standard’ interview outfit is vanilla ice cream, your personal style add-ons are the chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles and caramel sauce. ASOS has a great workwear section where you can find a faultless interview outfit like these examples below.
6. Get To Your Interview Embarrassingly Early
Arriving late doesn’t look good. It really doesn’t. And arriving late in jeans is just icing on the damn cake – you’re still not getting hired. But arriving early? Gives the interviewer a very good first impression of you. Getting to your interview early has a lot of benefits – you have extra time incase traffic is bumper-to-bumper, you haven’t applied your makeup, your boyfriend forgot his lunch & you’re on girlfriend duty to save the day or your nerves are getting the better of you.
7. A Smile Is All It Takes To Make or Break Your Interview
This is where some of you will get caught out. If you’re rude to the receptionist and the staff member you passed on your way in and then act all sweet-Lucy-kiss-ass when you meet your interviewer, you’ve already lost the fight. Staff talk to each other. And they have no problems voicing their opinions about you, and because the interviewer knows and trusts them over you, you’ll lose. So whoever you meet from the moment you leave your house till the moment you’re back in it again, give them your warmest smile sweetheart.
8. What’s Your Story?
Your story is your marketing goldmine. Are you gonna be a personal trainer? Were you severely overweight and then dramatically lost it all to pursue your dreams? That’s a story. Have you been obsessed with dresses and notebooks since you were in diapers and want to sell them to the world? That’s a story. Stories sell, so make sure you bring yours into the mix. Make it passionate, inspiring and also humbling. You’ll have them begging for more. Bernadette Jiwa is an expert at helping you unlock the value in her story.
9. Let Your Personality Do The Talking
If you’re predominantly cocky, nice, snobby, energetic, laid back – be it – and don’t be afraid to be either. Show your personality, don’t be timid, there’s no reason to be. There is a place for everyone. Yes, even the douche bags *cough*carsalesmen*cough*.
10. Passion Goes A Long Way – And So Does Personality
I do hope you actually really want the job you’re interviewing for, and not just the pay check. You can fake passion for an hour, but you can’t do it for months or years. And your employers will notice that, and they’ll feel cheated by you. When you speak, speak with passion about the company, the position and about yourself. Let your personality ooze through you and everything else will fall into place.
11. Ask Questions You Know Will Make Your Interviewer Get A Little Sweaty
It’s not just an interview for you, you’re also interviewing your potential employer. You want to know if this is going to be a profitable business decision for your wellbeing, your pocket and your future. When they ask you if you have any questions, intelligently ask them these: Can you describe a typical day in this type of role? How long have you been with the company & what has made you stay for so long? How would you explain the work environment/culture? What are some of the goals for the company in the short & long term? How would my performance be measured? What is the companies initiatives regarding learning & development? Bonus: If the pay rate wasn’t advertised – you have every right to ask how much the role is worth.
12. Take Your Resume & Send It To Extreme Makeover – Job Edition
We’re all guilty of still having a sleep-inducing black and white 90’s style resume – so you can come out from behind the sofa now. Want to know a secret? 99% of all resumes submitted for jobs are unedited, undesigned and uncoloured. That means that a small touch up of your own resume will literally place you in the lead for getting an interview and the position. Your resume should also be an extension of your personality. If you’re zippy, charismatic and full-of-life, a black unedited resume does not reflect who you really are. So add some colour! Underline your headlines, introduce white space, add a professional photo of yourself, be YOU in written form. Loft Resumes is great for the non-creatives or those without time to edit or design their own resumes, (that’s their handiwork in the image below), you tell them what you want, pick your template, and a lovely professional creates it all for you. And then watch how employer after employer is calling you the very next morning for an interview.
13. Sell YOU Inc. (the best company in the world!)
Think of the job application process like dating someone you really like. You don’t want to screw up anything – especially on the first date. You think of every tiny detail that will make you look desirable before you’ve even met at your favourite restaurant – you know the one with the waiter that always makes sure you get extra fries with your burger. You prepare your hair, your shoes, your outfit, your perfume, what you talk about, what you say in a text, the language you use, the way you laugh, your body language, your facial expressions and even your smile. All so that you’re presenting the whole package of yourself. The selling starts the moment you learn of the position advertised.
14. What’s Your Edge?
Thinking outside the box for the position will be a brilliant asset for you. Write a list of skills and experience you have officially and unofficially – and don’t sell yourself short either – I know you oh modest one. You could be going for a position as a lifeguard and also be a whiz at social media. Float the idea that you could use those skills to promote the pool online 24/7 with updates on swim lessons, aqua fitness classes, pool closures, when maintenance will take place and staff and member updates. And boom! you’ve suddenly become a 1000% more valuable to your potential employer.
15. Step Out, Be Bold & Share Your Ideas
Could the company consider adding an incentive structure to motivate employees better? Do you know a shortcut way to slice their costs in half? Did you use a great system in your previous job that would fit extremely well into this new company? This is how you demonstrate your usefulness to the company. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas. Being bold is what makes you stand out!
16. Leave An Impression – But Not So Much You Break The Internet Like Our Friend Kim K
Right from when you submit your application to the moment you leave the interview room, plan to leave a lasting impression. Smile, be creative, communicative and enthusiastic – but don’t kiss ass – and know your shit. A lasting impression is worth more than a resume with loads of experience, and a person with no vivacity. Head hunters and employers want to know you understand their company and that you actually give a damn. Don’t give them a chance to doubt that.
17. Ask When A Decision Will Be Made
You’re a busy girl (or guy), you’ve got hearts to break and other employers to impress. There’s nothing worse than leaving an interview with the ball 100% in their court – what you’re surprised? You still have some pull my dear – and having no idea when or if they’ll get back to you. Muster some and ask. Peace of mind is a lot more fun than being left in the dark.
18. Self-Five & Throw Back A Beer
You’ve got to celebrate the small things darling, otherwise it just becomes a treacherous game no one likes to play. You made it to, through and out of your interview – that’s *insert alcoholic poison of choice here* worthy. Congratulations, big girl! The hard part is over.
19. Everyone Loves The Chase – Except When You’re The One Doing The Chasing
Muster some guts and use them when you haven’t heard back from the employer and it’s the day after they’ve said they’ll call you. Take a deep breath – a shot of vodka (optional) – and make the call.
20. Move Forward
Some of you have a tendency to take what was said in the interview harshly. Stop stressing about whether you said the right things or not. It’s an absolute waste of your time. Just get on with life, apply for more positions, do vodka shots with your friends, live your life (heeeeeeeeeeeey). And when they do call you to let you know that the job is YOURS. You can be one of the cool kids and act like you knew you’d get it anyway. Piece of cake. Mmmmm, cake.
What are 3 pieces of action you’re going to take from this post towards your next interview?