Interviews are the absolute worst. Unfortunately they are very necessary and something almost all of us will have to learn to go through. I personally have been through A LOT of interviews. Some short 10-minute interviews, others as long as 4 hours. I've done phone interviews, zoom interviews, and in-person interviews. They all pose their own challenges. Here are my top 5 tips for getting through your next interview:
Practice Makes *Almost* Perfect.
First off, there is no such thing as perfection, so take some peace in knowing that no one else is going to give a perfect interview. You don't have to either. But practicing for an interview is important. Try to practice with someone that you know is going to give it to you straight. You want them to let you know if your answer doesn't make sense or if it raises more questions than it answers.
It's also a good idea to look up interview questions and write out your answers. This helps you to get thinking about how you want to structure your answer. That said, avoid memorization and remember that every interviewer is different and it's possible they might ask you a question you didn't prepare for. If that happens, simply say, 'that's a good one', pause for a couple moments to think and give your answer.
I know it's so easy to say this and a totally different thing to actually be yourself, especially in an interview, but it's important to remember that you are interviewing them, just as much as they are interviewing you. Consider it like a first date. Would you pretend to be someone your not in a first date just to get the other person to like you? Probably not, because if you did, a little bit down the road, it would become very clear that you're just not a good fit. Well, it's the same in a workplace. The interviewer wants someone that's a good fit with the company culture and you will fare much better in the long run if you land a job somewhere you enjoy working.
This one seems so simple, but it's incredibly important. Water helps your body function properly and drinking water can help to lower levels of adrenaline. Keep in mind you want to be comfortable, so don't chug a bunch of water right before you go in, but instead start drinking water a few hours before hand and be consistent about it.
Dress to Impress, but also for Comfort.
When I was in and out of interviews looking for a job I made a point to invest in a couple of comfortable, yet professional outfits. Unless you're applying for something in fashion, try to avoid patterns and crazy colors and stick to neutrals. My go-to is black. It seems boring, but it allows the interviewer to focus on me, instead of my clothes. If I'm feeling sassy I can always add some fun jewelry, a scarf or even a pop of color with my choice of shoes. Whatever you wear, make sure it's comfortable enough so that you're not distracted by a waistline cutting into your skin or constantly pulling at fabric that's made a habit of riding up your skin.
Do Your Research.
If you get the name, or names, of who will be interviewing you, take some time beforehand and look them up on LinkedIn. For me, just having a picture of the person in mind helps to ease my nerves. But also, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for gaining some insight into the past experience and even likes or dislikes of whoever is interviewing you. I once interviewed for a job and noticed one of the people interviewing me went to the same university. Right there I had some common ground.
Most importantly, BREATHE. It's just an interview. I had the biggest mindset shift around interviews when I realized that they aren't just interviewing me, I am interviewing them. It was a huge ah-ha moment when I was in the position to interview candidates for a job, and actually preferred the person with less experience because she felt like the better cultural fit. As always, if you have any questions about any of these tips, feel free to message me via the contact page of my site.