How to Prepare for Your Interview in Any Industry

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You've received that exciting email that you've secured an interview for the job you've been stalking, or maybe it's the first time you've heard back from an employer since making the life-altering decision to look for a new job. Just then, your mind races with thoughts of self doubt or anxiety about how to prepare.

Take a deep breath, you should know the hardest part is done. Once you've secured an in person interview with the organization, an agreement has been made by the Hiring Manager, HR Professional, or both agreeing to bring you in based off your resume or initial phone conversation. The company saw skills or qualifications that they believe could be a good fit for this role.

An interview is a creative process. Therefore, it is important to remember you can only control what's within your power and the rest will be improvisational. You may interview with someone who is having the best or worst day of their week - this should not impact how you prepare. The checklist below is a starting point of questions you can review before your interview.

Research the organization and interviewer (if that information is shared).

If you've grasped an idea of who they are based off their website, dig deeper by searching on their social media accounts or recent news activity. This might not be longer than 3-5 minutes of your conversation but it is an opportunity to stand out.

Anything that is stated in your resume can and will be brought up for conversation.

This includes skills such as Microsoft Suite (Excel, Powerpoint, or Word). Please don't waste the employer's time. Honesty is always the best policy, even if you are self taught on any platform. If you've listed any specific skill set, prepare to explain specific examples of how you've navigated those platforms.

Bring concision and specificity when discussing your current or previous experience.

By creating a structure for yourself before the interview, you can avoid an explosion of information that can take up 15-20 minutes of your interview.

Example: Can you tell me about your recent role at LevelUP?

Answer: I am a Recruiter and sit alongside a team of 10 people. I report directly to the COO and have the below responsibilities on a day to day basis (list 3 of your day to day responsibilities or use percentages to demonstrate how your work is spread throughout your day).

By sharing concise and specific information with the interviewer, you are painting a clear picture for them regarding your share of responsibilities and the environment. A recruiter at my organization may have additional or less responsibilities at another organization and you should not assume otherwise.

Some candidates I've spoken to are thrown off by the question, why are you looking to leave?

It is a question that should be expected since you are on the job hunt for a new employer. The best way to approach this question is to start off with ANY positive remark of something you have learned at your current/previous employer or anything you can think of that you've enjoyed at your employer before discussing your reasons.

Lastly, one of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou can be applied to any interview setting. An interviewer may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.

We spend most of our time at work, so we want to work with people who we can see ourselves working alongside for 45-50 hours/weekly. I'd rather hire someone who has potential and a vibrant energy than someone who has years of experience but doesn't enjoy what they do. You can help yourself (whether you are an introvert or extrovert) by using language such as "I really enjoyed, I loved, I am passionate about, I am motivated by, I am eager too etc).


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