Interview preparation is a process full of stress and anxiety. You’re attempting to make yourself vulnerable to a complete stranger, and hoping that the version of yourself you are presenting is “good enough”. It can be a terrifying experience, but it doesn’t have to be.
We asked our team what one piece of advice they’d give an applicant before coming in for an interview, and we hope their answers give you some comfort and confidence.
First, know who you’re talking to. The more you understand what the company believes in, the less anonymous the interviewer becomes and the more prepared you look.
- “Do research on the company and person you’re interviewing for. This will help you prepare questions you can ask the employer to show your level of interest.” -Melissa Davis
- “Take some time before your interview to research and learn a bit about the business and people you are applying for or with. This is an easy way to impress your interviewer as most applicants walk in blind to the business they are applying to and are only worried about the position they are applying for.” -Leandro Neves
- “I would look into the company's values & stoy to better understand the brand. Coming in more knowledgeable to be more confident going into the interview and ready to ask any questions. The more you seem engaged and ready the better you will perform.” -Brendan LeBlanc
Doing your research shows that you’re interested in the company. It’s a little defeating, as an interviewer deciding whether or not to bring someone into your “family”, to learn that a candidate did not care enough about your company to at least browse the website.
Next, be yourself! Only thing worse than not getting the job is getting the job and feeling the pressure of needing to be a completely different person because you misrepresented yourself.
- “Being authentic is far better than having the “perfect” answer. You’re not being judged on how you think on your feet as much as you are how honest you are about what you know and don’t know. Don’t fake knowledge. I’d rather hire someone who is willing to learn and grow versus the person who appears to know it all. Also, if you’re applying at a company that wants the “right answer” over the authentic one, ask yourself if that’s really the place you want to work at.” -Josh Rossmeisl
- “Relax and be yourself. You can fake it for one interview, but if you are hired you need to be that same person.” -Leo Neves
- “Let your passion for what you do or how it elevates what you do shine through. Maybe you love getting to know people and it made you the most popular, personable bartender at your last job or maybe you love organization and solving puzzles which leads to your analytical mind for accounting. Allowing your personality to illustrate what you bring to the role shows you are invested in what you do.” -Amanda Murray
We want to see who we will be spending time with. The real you. Nobody is expecting you to be perfect, but a majority of our interview questions will be trying to get to you to relax and be authentic. The faster you open up, the faster the interview can progress.
Finally, don’t forget that this is for you! You’re the most important person in an interview. Understand what you’re looking for.
- “Remember that the interview is an opportunity for you to see if the company is a fit for YOU as much as the other way around. Consider your personal values, priorities, and goals and ask questions to ensure they align with those of the company.” -Doug Warner
Know who you’re talking to, be yourself, and don’t forget that what you’re looking for in an employer matters!
We know it’s still not easy, but having confidence in those things will help you stand out from the crowd of interviews giving canned answers full of empty buzzwords. Connecting with the other human being during the interview, is the best way to make a lasting impression.