Rock Your Next Interview: How to Prepare
- 5 Min Read
I didn’t go through Ad Camp (sadly – it seems like a lot of fun), but I did apply to L&S, which means I was interviewed. Then interviewed again. And I spent quite a bit of time preparing for those interviews, so I picked up a couple tips along the way. Now I’m spreading my wealth (or two cents) of knowledge with all of you. Because we’re all rooting for you to show up and kick this interview’s ass-ertively asked questions.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Like preparing for almost anything in life, you can’t do enough research. Start off by looking into the position and what it entails. Comb through the job description and maybe do a Google search, too. Don’t be that guy who walks into a job interview and doesn’t know anything about the job he’s applied for.
Also spend a decent amount of time researching the company or organization interviewing you. The more you know, the more opportunity you have to stand out from other less prepared candidates. Start off by visiting the company’s website to ensure you understand the breadth of what they do. Review their mission statement and values, and be sure they align with your own before going into the interview.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
As corny as it sounds, practicing answers with mock interview questions really does help. There’s no way of knowing what the interviewer is going to ask, but if you go over basic interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, why you want this job, etc.) and some not-so-basic (once I got asked, “What is your spirit animal and why?”), you’ll feel more confident going into the interview. Do a quick Google or Glassdoor search and you’ll find plenty of examples.
Plus, all the research you just did on the company will allow you to more knowledgably answer a lot of questions.
By now you might feel confident walking into the interview and answering any question thrown your way, but the preparation is not done. Never show up to an interview empty-handed. Bring extra copies of your resume and references, your portfolio with samples of work (if relevant) and a notebook and something to write with (there’s nothing worse than asking the interviewer if you can borrow his/her pen).
Also, prepare a couple thoughtful questions to have handy when you’re inevitably asked, “Do you have any questions for us?” Saying no is not the right answer.
And it’s worth mentioning again – put some thought into what you wear. First impressions stick the hardest, so don’t make yours a bad one because you wore pants that were too short and a shirt you pulled out of your hamper.
BE FAMILIAR WITH WORK
More research! And this is a big one. Before an interview, familiarize yourself with a company’s products, services, client-base and work. Go into the interview ready to bring up different projects the company has done and what you admire about them, or how you have experience that could benefit a similar project in the future. You will not only seem well-prepared, you’ll seem sincerely interested in the company. Plus, looking through work is fun.
Alright, there you go. You just nailed your interview and now you’re wondering when you’re going to hear back. But don’t wait to be contacted – always send a follow up thank-you right away. It can even be a quick email to whoever interviewed you thanking them for their time and consideration – easy as that. Bonus points if you send a handwritten card (yes, people still love snail mail). And after that, you just hope for the best.