Today’s advice is from a 40-something woman who always amazes me with her confidence and belief in her own power (and belief that every women has power but some just don’t realize it). She is not one to let luck take credit for her success. So from a self-proclaimed awesome interviewer, with the record to prove it, here are her tips on how to be prepared for the process:
1. Know where you are going. Never go to a job interview without knowing everything you can about the company, about the person, about the culture. If you want to fit in there…you must fit in there 100 %.
First impressions are everything. I work in the fashion industry I am expected to look the part, have the right hair, the right make up the right amount of makeup. I am expected to look a certain way that would appease that company. Not that you don’t have a certain style of your own, but you are going to look different if you are going to Gap vs. Chanel. You are impressing a different set of people. I am sure it is the same everywhere. If you’re going to Yahoo and know that they have a very casual culture at their office…you know it’s going to be a different interview than at IBM where they don’t have a loose culture at all. And you have to do your homework.
2. It’s important to rehearse the interview in your head prior. Anticipate the questions you will be asked and be prepared to answer them. Even the ugliest questions like “Wow it seems like you have worked at a lot of places”. “Wow you were only at this place for one-year. Why?” Learn how to answer the bad things about yourself. Because they will come up.
3. You have to see yourself from an outside perspective. Think about how they will see you. Run through the interview from their viewpoint from the moment you walk in the door until you leave. Put yourself in the interviewers shoes and imagine what they want to see and hear.
4. Consider that when you are looking for a job that you are in training. Striving to make other people think you are useful. It takes so much energy. A full turn on. Sleep. Eat well. Get some exercise. Don’t stay out until 4am the night before.
5. Show your personality but don’t share your personal life. The VP of wherever you want to work isn’t thinking about whether you’d be a good friend. Ever. They want to know can this person perform? Its just reality. Of course people want to work with people they like and are genuine and will fit into the culture, but that doesn’t mean the interview is the time to share your roommate troubles or hygiene habits.
6. I would always have a pair of nice shoes and a nice bag. The best you can afford. Don’t waste money on clothes. Which is funny coming from someone in fashion. Yes, you want to look the part, but now it’s so easy to buy good things at every price range. I would always say spend money your money on shoes. Shoes and bags. To have a cheap bag and a cheap pair of shoes can blow whatever you are wearing.