Interviewing can be a challenge during the best of times. With a significant shift in the market, it can trigger new fears. Our goal today, in our fifth of ten articles to help tackle layoffs, is to give you a few tools to make interviewing more successful, especially if you're getting back into it for the first time in a while.
I have read so many posts of late about people entering an interview process only to have it drag on or to be ghosted by potential employers? Perhaps you've seen them too. It can create a real barrier in putting yourself out there. Is that your fate? Instead, consider every interview simply a chance to meet another interesting person (or team of people). Maybe it goes somewhere and perhaps, for a season, it doesn't.
One of the biggest myths of the job search process is that you should have an interview scheduled before you start practicing. You don’t need one to get started early! Being ahead of the curve helps.
The timeline from interview invite to reality can fast. A few tips to manage the stress of the process, and to drive more successful outcomes.
Start practicing early: You don't need an interview scheduled before you start practicing your elevator pitch, or an answer to, "Tell me about yourself". Start now, and save yourself stress later. If you need lists of practice questions or want to learn more about practice platforms like interviewing.com, please let us know.
Practice with a variety of people: You never know how your story will play with a particular person, so practice interviewing with multiple people so you gain feedback from a variety of perspectives. An added bonus is that it gives others even more opportunities to help and feel engaged in your process. You never know what other opportunities that can create!
Start working on your presence: ums and ahs getting to you? Struggling with on-screen presence? Online tools can help you to identify the issues and resources, including an awesome book The Charisma Edge, from Cynthia Burnham, MBA can help you to tackle them.
Be clear on your message: So many of the ums, ahs, sort-ofs and kind-ofs throughout the process come from being unclear about what you want to convey to the listener. If they remember 2-3 things about you, what do you want them to be?
Know your interviewer: While it's not always possible, it's helpful to learn more about your interviewer. As you will likely discover, the world is small and mentors, former coworkers or classmates may know who you're meeting with. What's most helpful to know? Their communication style and priorities for the role. Remember, information flows both ways. If you connect with someone your interviewer knows to learn more, they will likely hear about it and also learn more about you. It's critical to assess the appropriateness of that outreach.
Keep practice focused: Just like marathon runners don't only run marathons to train, and basketball players don't only scrimmage to train, interview preparation shouldn't only involve mock interviews. want to practice improving your energy level? Use an online tool such as InterviewPrep (if you need access, let us know) to practice delivering your answers with 10/10 energy (you would never do this during an actual interview). Want to prepare technical questions you may get asked? Ask a former coworker for help. Get nervous during actual interviews? Practice breathing and meditative techniques to help you calm yourself in the moment.
Prep your tech: Most of us know where the mute button is on Zoom now, but what about on Teams or Google Chats or Skype? Before you go into a session, make sure you know what platform they'll use. If it's been a minute since you used that tool, log in and test it out. And, plan what username you intend to use.
Prep your questions: Understanding the interview stage, be prepared with questions about the role, the team or expectations.
Take a moment for self-care: Your enthusiasm for an industry, team or opportunity during interviews is critical. Make sure you give yourself a chance to build that energy, whether through a workout, haircut, meditation, time with a friend or anything else that gets you on top of your game.
The more you put into interview prep, the more prepared you will be, maximizing the chance that employers will be excited by you joining their teams.
So if you or someone you know needs a little extra nudge, let us know. We're happy to help.