Interviewing: Tricks Of The Trade

Hello lovely job seekers. Today's post is written by my dear friend and all around love-bug, Heldana. She has worked in the recruiting field for over two years and is now sharing her tips on how to kill it! If you want to hear directly from a recruiter at your dream company, look up (i.e. stalk) where they will be speaking or presenting in the near future and show up! Or reach out to them over email and express your interest. You can get in touch with them on LinkedIn or by getting their contact information from a friend who works at the company. The days of submitting a resume and hoping they call you are over for you... not just because that is the most difficult way to get in, but because you are not one in a million. You are actively seeking greatness, so use your networks, be honest about what you stand for and let Jesus take the wheel from there (I'm kidding. You should always keep your eyes on the road, especially if you have a whole career ahead of you). But seriously, here is Heldana on the interview process from the recruiting perspective. 

I'm so excited to be featured on Depth & Candor this week, and even more excited to share some wisdom with you as you venture into the dark path of finding yourself a job post graduation. I'm not going to sugarcoat the interview process and tell you that it's not overwhelming or exhausting or even discouraging at times. I will say, however, that it is EXTREMELY rewarding (both for your ego and your wallet) once you get through the hard-and-not-so-fun part. My purpose with this post is essentially to make the interview process a little less hard and a little more fun with five things you should remember.  Let's get started!

1. There’s no such thing as being "bad at interviews"The purpose of an interview is essentially someone asking you questions with the intention of getting to know you better. So unless you don't know anything about yourself, it should be difficult to bomb this part. That being said, this should also not be seen as an opportunity for you to share your entire life story. Focus on how your friends, colleagues, and peers would describe you to a stranger, and use that to market the shit out of yourself.

2. Come prepared to show case your super powers It’s almost always expected to add a lot of fluff when you are marketing yourself, and that’s okay. However, please be privy of what exactly you’re adding fluff to. You want to be able to back everything you say up, so make sure there’s a good amount of truth in everything that you either put on your resume or say in person to an interviewer/recruiter. Recruiters spend a ridiculous amount of time reviewing resumes every day. Do they care that you probably weren’t an ‘active member’ of the Young Democrats in 2011? Probably not. Do they care that you didn’t actually pass the bar exam but put it on your resume anyway? Definitely.  If you’re going to tell an interviewer that you are an amazing individual and the best at what you do, make sure that you actually believe it as well. Only then can you confidently speak on the things you know, and back up all the fluff that you share. You’re a hard worker? Give an example as to why. You work well in groups? Share a story about how well you worked with a group on a specific project and all the things you learned about yourself as a result. Oh, you traveled the world in 50 days? Pics or it didn’t happen. That kind of stuff. 

3. Please bring a pen. Or a pencil…. or at least a bagI’m not kidding. I haven’t been on the receiving end of an interview in a long time, but when I was, it was a given to take at least 5 copies of my resume to an interview. And a notepad with a pen. And a folder to go with it to make it look pretty. Candidates are now showing up with one thing, and one thing only: themselves. I can’t tell you how many times a candidate has shown up for an interview empty handed with nothing to show but their cellphones and chapstick. It's as if they are doing the company a favor by coming in at all. I don’t know if this is a result of candidates being more confident or not, but it’s a pet peeve for recruiters. As a candidate, I understand that it feels great when you are called in for an interview, but the process to getting yourself a job is far from over so PLEASE continue to woo. And if you do happen to forget to bring a resume, utilize your recruiter (who by the way, wants you to get the job as much as you do), and have him/her print it out for you beforehand. 

4. Recruiting Coordinator: Friend or Foe?In most cases, after you speak with a recruiter about a potential job opportunity, you will either do a phone interview or an in person interview with an individual/team qualified to assess your skills. During this time, there’s a lot of behind the scenes coordinating that no one knows anything about, but I’m here to share the wealth of knowledge. The person in charge of scheduling your interviews and picking who you meet with is a critical person for you to befriend during the process. This person is available not only to schedule your interviews and tell you where to be and when, but they also have a lot of background information on who you will meet with. And if you play your cards right, this person can give you tips on the interviewers, the interview itself, and how to be a successful candidate. The point to remember here is to be pleasant to everyone you meet during the interview process; no matter what their level of hierarchy is, they’re working for the company you want to work for, and can easily be the reason you get the job because you never know who has a final say in offering you the job.

5. Saying Thank YouThis is vital as it is the last impression you will leave with the hiring team before they decide what to do with you. Who does this include? Your interviewer(s), your recruiter,  and your recruiting coordinator (if any). Take initiative and ask for their business cards. Make sure that you have the contact information for each person that you’ve either interviewed with or spoken to about the job, and email them no later than that same evening. The sooner you do this, the better it looks for you, because in most cases, the hiring team will be meeting that very same day to discuss how well you did; any chance you have of making yourself look good, is a chance you should take. 

Will remembering to do these five things guarantee you your job? I wish it did, but it all really comes down to how much you want that particular job. Just as much as the company is assessing your overall fit with them, you have to remember to do the same. Do you like the people you’ve met with? Do you think you would be able to work with them every single day? Is this a company that you can be happy representing or being a part of? If you answer no to any of those questions, don’t take the job. Starting a new job is very similar to starting a new relationship. Why go into one with doubts? If and when a company gives you a job offer, don’t see it as the only option that you will have because it’s absolutely not. It means that you ARE actually the best at what you do, and someone else noticed. 

How helpful was this information? Is there anything else you think should be added to the list that is equally as important? Leave a comment, let’s talk!