This week, I conducted interviews with my colleagues at work. I have attended multiple interviews in my life, but this was the first time that I had the opportunity to sit on the other side of the table. It was a great learning experience, and I was interested to see things from a different perspective.
If you’ve been selected for an interview, chances are that you have the skills to do the job. Your resume was selected out of all of the applicants for a reason. At this point, the interviewer is more concerned about finding a personality that would be a good fit. When I was prepping for interviews in University, I was always told things like make eye contact, look sharp, be confident, smile often, etc. While these are all incredibly important, through the process I’ve picked up on other things that can improve one’s interview skills:
Breathe: Be confident. It’s not necessarily about the answers you give, but how you present them. (Plus, I’ll let you in on a little secret: the interviewer wants you to succeed).
Be Honest: If you are asked about weaknesses or failures, do not pretend like you’re perfect. Own up to your mistakes, and always outline what you learned from them and what improvements you’ve made.
Assess the Situation: Try and match the style and manner that the interviewer is portraying. If things are light, it’s okay to crack some jokes!
Add Value: Do whatever you can to give yourself a leg up. Submit your resume in-person, give the interviewer samples of your previous work, do your research, and of course, always follow-up with a thank-you note after the interview. The little things can go a long way.
Be Human: Show your personality and have some fun with it!
Ultimately, practice makes perfect. The best way to practice for an interview is to attend other interviews. You can even sit down with a friend and interview each other. It may be weird and it may be awkward, but it is a great way to prepare yourself and receive valuable feedback.