Maybe you’ve decided to look for a new job or you’ve just left school. Now it’s time to look at your options and start interviewing. Kicking off the interview process can be exciting and scary — you want to move forward in your career, but you have to convince someone else that you’re the right person for the job. As I prepare for the great job hunt, I thought I’d do some research on how to make the interviewing process a little easier.
The first step is to prepare mentally. Recruiter.com contributor Marie Larsen offers some great tips on “Getting in the Interview Mindset.” Before walking in the interview, you should know what to expect and how to present yourself. One tip that you should never forget is to sell yourself:
Now is not the time to sit back and wait for someone else to make glowing statements about you. The interview step in the hiring process is your chance to market yourself as the ideal candidate for the position. You shouldn’t oversell yourself or make false claims, but it is critical that you present yourself as positively as possible.”
In past interviews, I’ve made the mistake of not selling myself enough. You can be humble, but don’t overdo it. The first time I really sold myself in an interview was almost on accident, but I learned a great lesson from it — that I should do it more! During an interview about two years ago, a potential employer asked me what one of my references would say about me. Without thinking, I said “She’d tell you I was the best intern she ever had.” After the words came out, I panicked a little, wondering if I’d made myself sound too arrogant, but I knew that this reference had told me this before. My potential employer later told me that this is exactly what my former boss said about me, and that he was impressed that I’d been confident enough to come out and say it. So, if you know what you’re speaking is true, then don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments.
Another good thing to remember when you start sending out the applications and accepting interviews is to not overdo it. It’s so easy to do — you get excited that people are responding to your resume, and you want to get out there and see all of your options. But be careful, and be selective about which jobs you apply to:
You may want to get a job as fast as possible, and think that applying to as many jobs as you can is the way to guarantee that you will get a job quickly. This, however, is not the case. If you simply slow yourself down and focus on the specific positions that you truly want you will give yourself the opportunity to perfect your applications and resume so that they are the most effective they can be.”
You don’t want to accidentally take the wrong job because you want one right way. And you also don’t want to stretch yourself so thin that you don’t perform as well when you are interviewed for the job you really want.
Finally, Larsen offers a great tip you should remember during your interview. She says to “Focus on the Big Three”:
There are dozens of things that you could try to focus on when going into an interview, but there are three core concepts that you should pay very close attention to presenting to the interviewing manager: A) You will solve the problems of the company B) You are the best candidate for the job, and C) You will fit in with the culture of the company.”
When you break it down to these three, the process seems easier. Before going into the interview, do your research and outline how you could fulfill these three roles. Make sure they come across in your answers.
Larsen offers several more great tips in her post on Recruiter.com. Check back on Career Girl Network next week for more interviewing and job searching tips.