How to prepare for my dream job interview?

Here’s some quick tips to prepare for that golden opportunity:

Rehearse Before You Show Up

Be aware of the most common job interview questions (answered within this insider guide) and take time to practice them. Practice writing your answers, saying your answers, and get ready to be asked those questions.  If you know they’re coming (most likely they are) you can take fear right out of the equation.

On Time, Organized, and Feelin’ Good

You are giving an interviewer an opportunity to envision you fitting into the dream job and their company, so be on time, dressed appropriately (this will usually be covered in pre-interview communications) and be prepared with extra copies of your resume, cover letter, and even personal business cards (if you have them).

Have an awesome story in mind

Storytelling enables emotional impact, a stronger pull towards a hire than you might think.  Your resume will tell of your professional accomplishments, but your “dragon slaying” stories will allow you to shine.

Know your industry well (do your homework!)

Go through the company website and take note of key personnel, recent press releases, strategic goals and special projects. Be hyper aware of what product, service or protocols this company serves. Read the company mission, vision and value statements. Know why this work is your dream work, and reinforce it with your research.

Check and Re-Check Your Social Media

Social media is more important now than it ever has been, and can be a make or break moment in any job interview process.  Clean up your accounts and tweak your privacy settings to manage your online image effectively. Also, try to create some consistency in your personal brand and how you communicate it. (Read: How To Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression )

Honesty is the Best Policy

Be straightforward with your interviewer and show the interviewer the real you. Be prepared to answer truthfully about past experiences, good and bad - using your best discretion on how to express it while still remaining honest to your story.

Be acutely aware of your strengths and weaknesses

This is indicative one of the most common interview question sets - being aware and assessing yourself ahead of time will help you better describe your strengths and weaknesses, and the description language will help set you apart from those claiming the same qualities. Nobody ever believes “being a perfectionist” is your only weakness (it’s a super common answer from interviewees); that answer shows you may lack self-awareness or lack confidence to give a real answer. Describe weaknesses well without sabotaging your chances - and divulge to the interviewer that you have an active, well-thought-out plan in progress to improve any weaknesses you describe.

Don’t be afraid to ask (the right) questions

You have an opportunity to quiz your interviewer and assess how you’re measuring up during the interview. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that set you up as an ideal candidate for the job (ask specific, educated questions), and check in as many times as you can during the process to gauge their thinking on your candidacy.  Practice your questions many times and make sure you’re ready to ask them when the time is right.

Afterwards, thank them in person and via note!

A person took time out of their day to meet and explore your career goals - they deserve a note expressing your gratitude! This not only expresses your sincere appreciation for the opportunity, but you get to remind the interviewer who you are.  Upon leaving the physical interview, thank the interviewer and any other folks you interacted with during the visit. Your follow up thank you can take the form of an email and/or handwritten note  - whatever you send, include specific copy that relates back to your meeting, why it meant something to you, and your passion for pursuing the opportunity further.

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