INTERVIEW TIPS OF THE PROS

By the time a graduate is ready for job interviews, they’ve probably gotten more than their share of advice.  Professors at their university, their parents and anyone they come in contact with is probably asking, “Do you have a great resume?” “Are you prepared to answer about your biggest weakness?” Quite interestingly, the applicants I meet with that are right out of college are some of the most prepared candidates.  They are typically dressed to impress, have many copies of their resume on great paper and maintain a smile throughout the interview.  Not a forced smile (which is a major pet peeve) but, a genuine look of excitement about the job.

Interestingly enough, it’s most often the applicants with more experience that forget some of the basics of great interviewing.  Most of the “do’s” to creating a great interview are not rocket science and don’t even take that much effort but, when done right, make a lasting impression.  Here are a few interview recommendations.  I hope these notes help with the hunt for your dream job.  After all, if you don’t love what you do or the particulars of your potential job, why are you applying?

Dress for Success

As cheesy as it sounds, dressing the part is a big deal.  Especially in a creative industry and in one in which you’ll be the face of the agency or corporation you represent.  When you look great you typically sound polished and exude a great amount of confidence.  If money’s tight, invest in one suit that you love and look great in.  Then purchase some great shoes that you can wear over and over with that suit and your other business attire.  Get creative with the colors and textures of your shirt/blouse so that you can mix it up for each interview and keep it fun (the interviewer won’t know, but you will and variety is after all the spice of life).

Do Your Homework

You must truly prepare for your interview.  Before you even apply, research the company in-depth. Review their website.  What does the company stand for? What industries do they represent? What is the culture like? These are all things that you’ll want to speak to in your interview.  At the very least, when they ask why you want to work there, you’ll have a solid answer.

Be Comfortable – Have a Conversation

The applicants that I meet with that I can tell are fully confident in their ability speak with a calm, cool approach.  They are the ones I want on my team.  They are the team members that I know will be comfortable in front of any client.  I’m not looking for the candidate to say all the right things.  Instead, I want to know that they’re genuinely taking in my questions and answering authentically.

Smile and Engage

I can’t tell you how many candidates I meet with that don’t smile once in the interview.  Really? Are you not excited for this opportunity? Why then are you here? I expect those I interview to make me so excited about them at the end of the interview that I absolutely have to hire them.  So, give me a smile.  Act excited and engaged.  It goes a long way.

Old School Thank You

For me, one test is whether or not you follow through after the interview.  Email is great and is a good way to reach out immediately.  But, I always recommend following up with a hand written thank you note.  It may seem antiquated, but for me it shows you really want it and you care.  It also shows me how you’re going to interact with our clients.  Are you going to go the extra mile or just do the minimum?

I hope this helps with your search.  I would love to connect with you for any questions you have on Twitter at @julie_fraga or LinkedIn.  Happy Hunting!

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