How To Nail Your Interview

Can someone tell me how it’s already Spring?! Not that I’m complaining one bit, but I feel like after January dragged on for what felt like a freaking eternity, February and March have completely flown by. It didn’t hurt that I was able to take a quick getaway to Costa Rica for a few days with my family (more on that in a future post!), but I also have some really exciting news to share…

I have a new job! After close to three years at XO Group, I’ve decided to take my next step in my professional career in media. I’m now a Digital Marketing Manager for a small agency in NYC that works with fashion clients – can you say WORK PERKS?! Here’s to hoping that I make friends with my clients, and that they feel strong urges to send me product. Hey, can’t blame me for trying!

I learned a lot in this interview process, and had to pick up a lot of new skills and push myself out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. I thought it would be helpful to share my experience, and spread the wealth when it comes to some of the tips I acquired along the way.

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Tips for Nailing the Interview

  • Know the Company: I’m not saying you need to know their daily gains and losses, or the full work history of every employee you may come in contact with during the interview process, but it’s helpful to know what you’re dealing with. Google the company (this should be a no-brainer!) and learn what it is they do, how long they’ve been around for, what the media/press is saying about them, who some of their clients are.. a little goes a long way!

 

  • Google the Person You’re Interviewing With: If you know the name of the person who’s going to be interviewing you.. GOOGLE THEM. The beauty of tools like LinkedIn is that with one click, you can find out where they went to school, where they worked before and who your shared connections are. Then you can take that info and drop a ‘lil knowledge when you’re sitting across from that makes you stand out from other candidates. “I saw that you went to Cornell.. Any chance you know Dave Jones from Delta Chi? You do?! Omg no way, SUCH a small world!”

 

  • Be yourself but like, a nicer version: Get real, everyone lays it on a little heavy during an interview, and that’s completely fine. Obviously you don’t want to appear too comfy, but it will be obvious if you’re not being authentic. Crack a joke (as long as it’s appropriate), smile (but try not to appear like a psycho) and trust that if you’re truly the right fit for this position, that your strengths will shine through and the interviewer will see that.

 

  • Dress for the job: Gone are the days where every interview requires a skirt suit and four inch heels. If you’re interviewing for a position in finance or a more serious industry then of course you should be dressing for that. Many companies in 2018, however, are much more casual. For instance, I think I probably wouldn’t have gotten the job if I had shown up to my interview in a pencil skirt, button down dress shirt, jacket and loubs. It would’ve been obvious that I didn’t know the company, the industry or the culture. ESPECIALLY since my first round was held at a Starbucks. I showed up wearing tailored black jeans, a pretty blouse and booties. It was NYC in January, everyone knows this was as good as it was going to get. My advice? Avoid seriously distressed clothing, anything with stains (duh), and wear something that compliment you, but doesn’t distract the interviewer from what you’re saying.

 

  • Send a thank you note: I personally feel that this is antiquated, but 100% necessary. To me, it’s weird to send a thank you note for someone interviewing you for a job that THEY are trying to fill. HOWEVER – you want to get the edge in whatever way you can, and sending a note is a great way to 1) get ahead of the people who haven’t done this and 2) keep you top of mind throughout the process. Some people say that you should send it right after the interview, but I personally wait a few days because I don’t want it to seem as though it’s a standard thank you note that goes out to everyone, and I also want to strike as the iron is cooling down – after a few days, they may have already interviewed a few other candidates and are starting to forget some of the things you talked about, which is why it’s the perfect time to send them a note and refresh their memory.

 

All in all, interviewing is stressful. Most people aren’t leaving a job that they’re 100% happy at just so they can start over at a new place right? So if you’re interviewing, it’s because you really want a new position somewhere. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s totally a numbers game. For every one position, there are literally hundreds of applicants (especially with how ridiculously simple it is to you LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature). If you even get asked for a phone interview, that’s significant, because there are plenty of people who don’t even get that far. For every 20 resumes I submitted, I was lucky to hear back from one company. So don’t get discouraged- just keep grinding, and you will find the place that feels right to call home. Good luck! xo, AJ