Guess what? Your girl FINALLY has a job! Can I get a HALLELUJAH?! Since I’m flying high after the success of my job hunt, today I’m going to be sharing with you some of my tips for nailing your interview, and having a good time doing so.
Here’s the harsh reality: most times, when you’re cold-applying for jobs, all they’re going to know about you is what you write down on your application and how your resume looks. Since that’s the case, making sure your resume is up-to-date and nicely designed plays a huge role in making a great first impression before they even meet you!
– For the application, make sure that you type out your answers first in a Word doc to check for spelling errors, and proofread at least twice before pasting your responses in an submitting them. Trust me on this one-typos are your worst enemy.
– For your resume, make sure it is visually pleasing and current. For me, this meant going through and deleting old jobs that were no longer relevant, updating work experience, and listing new references that knew me and my work ethic personally. As you can see, I prefer my resume to have a strong impact so that it is memorable, but play around with different formats until you find the one for you! If you need a place to shop for templates, I highly recommend Etsy-it’s where I got mine!
Ah, yes, dressing to impress. I was interviewing at a clothing retailer, so for me the interview apparel was a little different, but my tips apply everywhere!
– Double-check your email for what dress code is recommended. This can range from business professional to casual to “wear what you would if you worked for us.” This is your first tip in making a solid impression, and will give you a direction for the next part, which is…
– Find pieces that make you feel confident and put together. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re playing dress up in someone else’s clothes, being comfortable is a top priority here! Try to research or ask around regarding what the dress code is at the company you are interviewing at, and mix and match pieces that give off the same vibe.
– For retail, know the brands you are wearing. I cannot stress this enough! Being able to name drop a couple brands that you are wearing or know that the company carries is a huge gold star earner in an interview, and it shows that you are a customer as well!
– Try on a few outfits before your interview and ask people for their feedback. I use Snapchat for this almost always, but even asking your roommate or texting your parents a photo can help give you another opinion and put your mind at ease!
– No matter what, schedule ample time to find parking. For me, I was interviewing in different parts of Hollywood and nearly had a heart attack when traffic gave me less than ten minutes to find a suitable parking space near the company. Give yourself an extra twenty-thirty minutes to compensate for traffic, construction, or general parking struggles. Worst comes to worst, you can pop into a coffee shop!
– When you get to your interview, go to the front to check in with whoever is there-they are likely expecting you and will direct you to a general waiting area until your interview time comes.
– If you find out you are having a group interview, introduce yourself to the other people you are waiting with and try to spark a conversation. Current employees are usually watching you to see how you interact together, and breaking the ice will also make the group interview less awkward and flow more smoothly, a win-win!
*Disclaimer: these will always be slightly awkward, but grin and bear it, you can do it!*
– Try not to cut anyone off. Be an active listener and react according to others’ answers, and jump in when there is a lull in conversation in order to direct the attention towards yourself in a natural manner.
– Pepper in anecdotes to show your personality in your answers. If you’re asked about a specific example of great customer service, tell a short story about a particularly memorable moment-it will engage your interviewers and fellow interviewees, as well as make the most of your limited time in the spotlight!
– When in doubt, listen to others’ answers before crafting your own. I cannot stress this enough. Especially for protocol-based questions, like shoplifting or dealing with corporate, listen to how more experienced interviewees answer and then join into the conversation. For me, this meant confidently admitting I had never had to deal with shoplifting, but then agreeing with what others had said and giving an example of how I would deal with it myself.
When your interview is over, your final test reveals itself: the handshake. You’ve smiled and laughed and made a great impression, and it all comes down to the clasping of hands and a single or two-pump motion. You’ve got this.
– Don’t overthink it! Handshakes should be natural and not bone-breaking.
– Make eye-contact with your interviewer and smile, this will help them remember your face (and your awesome grip).
– After you let go, make sure to thank them for their time. After all, interviews are hard to come by and gratitude is key!
What do you think? Can you nail your next interview? I hope you liked today’s post-I’ve been wanting to write it for a couple of weeks now! As always, if you have any tips leave them in the comments below, and I’ll see you Thursday!