There are lots of interviewing guides out there, and over the years I’ve tried finding one that doesn’t want to make me barf after the first sentence. Many of them start off clearly stating how you should lay down and die for an interview. Then they dive into to their spiel on what they think the ultimate candidate would do/be. In the end they leave you wondering how you would ever measure up to this fictional person and even more nervous than before.
I’m going to tell you right now this is NOT that kind of guide. I’m a real person so I’m going to be real with you. No bullshit. Only good tips.
Prepare If Possible
Preparation-readiness is where lots of other articles start so it seems like the only logical place for me as well with one big difference. Those other guys will tell you that the biggest mistake candidates make is not being prepared. Every time I read that I roll my eyes because they obviously don’t know what job hunting is really like or they’ve been out of the game for a while.
As a 20-Something myself, I know when you go on the hunt that you apply for not just dozens but hundreds of jobs and tend to land interviews all in the same week leaving little time for prep. If this is the situation you’re in, take a breath. In an ideal world you would be able to have complete background knowledge of every company and would have done research for all of your interview but it is just not possible. Instead of stressing out, pick 1-2 of the lot you really want to go for and do some deep research on those. If possible give yourself 10-15 minutes before the minor interviews to do some quick fact checking and looking over your resume. If they ask some background questions or something you don’t know just be truthful with them that you haven’t had much time. They’ll either understand or you know they’re definitely not for you.
Don’t Sweat It
Stop worrying so much. Yes, you need a job but if you blow an interview or two it is not the end of the world. Infact, you probably will no matter how prepared you are and likely it will happen towards the beginning of your search. It is really no big deal. You need to get a few out of your system so you can relax. Once the interview is over and you’ve sent a thank you email put it out of your mind. If you really think that company is a great fit leave yourself a note to check back in a week but move on. You have other interviews to conquer.
Don’t forget to be you during an interview. Employers will appreciate your honesty more than anything else. They don’t want to be bullshited either. You think you’re awesome and know you can do the work so tell them that. If you have weaknesses don’t be afraid to show them and explain how you can improve.
Get In a Routine
I have a set routine for myself before every interview. I know not to eat too much before but not starve myself so my tummy isn’t rumbling. Get to the location 20 minutes before to find a good parking spot. Head in and go to the restroom first for a quick pee break and to compose myself.
My routine doesn’t work for everyone but it doesn’t have to. It only has to work for me. There is no cookie-cutter way to get yourself ready. Know yourself and find what works for you. In the end it will help you relax.
And there you have it. I’ll leave you with one last piece of advice: The biggest thing you need to remember is you’re interviewing them too. Walking in knowing that will help you relax more than anything else.