So you just read our article Kickass Resume Tips for Burlington Vermont and sent out a few resumes out into the void. And now, someone has finally given you the opportunity for an interview! Congrats!
It’s your first chance to make an impression, so you’re nervous. We’ve compiled this list of Kickass Tips for the Pre-Interview Stage to help you prepare and calm those nerves.
In this day and age, it’s important to signify the keywords that will most likely come up during your interview. Recognize that there are several types of keywords.
Some, such as Startup or Local would be keywords to describe the business. Other keywords such as organized or self-starter would be used to describe you, the individual that they are considering to hire. Additional keywords such as coordinator or assistant (like at Burton Snowboards!) signify the difficulty of the job, specifically how much experience you are going to need to be eligible for the job.
It’s important to know these keywords and to become familiar with them. If you’re able to slide them into the interview, to describe yourself as a motivated individual, then you’re peaking their interest. A company already knows what type of employee they want to hire. They know what they’re listening for.
You need to convince them that those keywords apply to you.
2. Research the Company
It’s amazing how much you can learn about a company prior to ever walking into their office space. Research their website, social media, employees Linkedin pages.
Make notes of how you can help improve their digital footprint (something that is very vital for small, local ,and growing businesses). See if you have any connections to their current employees.
Have a fellow college student working for the company that’s interviewing you? Ask if you can meet for coffee before your interview to ask for advice on what to expect. They’ve already been interviewed and clearly were successful.
Research is a great look into the company’s feel. Are they a suit and tie every day company? Then you know to wear one for your interview.
Learn where they are located so you can plan how to get to the interview (and early too!).
Become accustomed to their lingo, how they present themselves as a brand and company, what their past work is.
No one fully enjoys a blind date, and no one enjoys a blind interview either.
3. Write Down Questions & Prepare for Answers
The employer wants to know that you’ve done research and that you’re passionate about the job. They want to know that you are envisioning yourself working for them, even though the job isn’t your’s yet.
Having some detailed questions for them is the perfect way to demonstrate that you are serious and committed to learning more about the company and how you can help them.
Some top questions that receive great feedback include:
- “What’s an example of what my day might look like in this position?”
- “What is one of your favorite examples of work this company has produced? Why?”
- “What would be the hardest part of this job, and how would you recommend that I prepare for it?”
- “Do you have any resources, newsletters, websites that you read/research regularly for your company?”
These are some basic questions that will actually throw a curveball to the interviewer. It lets them know how deep into this job and company you want to be a part of.
In turn, you also need to prepare for some curveball questions. You will most likely receive questions that are made to make you think and provide thoughtful answers.
Expect to see questions such as:
- “Where do you think marketing/web design/graphic design is going?”
- “What do you consider to be a successful advertisement/website/logo?”
- “How do you feel you would handle working in an office environment?”
- What is something about you that you want us to know?”
Preparing for these types of questions is important to show that you’re knowledgeable about the community you’re choosing to work in. If you aren’t up to date on the latest trends in your line of work, then you won’t be considered for the position. You need to express that you live for graphic design, website programming, whatever it is you wish to be hired in.
Also, be prepared to prove yourself with answering your questions. Be confident in the work that you have accomplished, whether it’s a classroom assignment or a personal project. There are ways your fast-food job has given you experience, such as handling disgruntled clients after their meal was made wrong. Always look on the positive experiences and lessons you’ve learned, and don’t be afraid to say, “I’m dedicated to learning more about this industry and working on whatever skill sets I may not have in this current moment that are needed for the role.”
Now that you’ve read the tips and started to prepare, check out our next article, Kickass Tips for the During the Interview Stage.