How to ace a job interview
Update: I got a call from the interviewer saying that she really enjoyed my interview, and even though the position was filled internally, she wanted me as a freelancer for this position as well as a news writing position. While I initially hoped to land a full-time job, freelancing in two roles allows me to gain twice the experience in the same amount of time and most importantly, gives me twice the work and twice the purpose!
Yesterday I had an interview for my dream job--a production coordinator with a national Canadian morning show. I haven't found out if I got the job yet, so I'm definitely writing this prematurely and will look silly and unreliable if I don't get the job, but I still feel amazing about how I did in the interview and I've learned that not getting the position isn't always a reflection of how the interview went.
Here are a few things I did before and during the interview to make it go so well:
1. Look at the job description over and over again
Once I was invited in for an interview, I went over the job description time and time again to be sure I understood the responsibilities. Part of this was because I wanted to know I was capable of doing the job, but the other part was so that I could refer to the responsibilities throughout the interview.
By referring to the different aspects of the job, it tells your prospective employer that you understand what you'd be doing, how you've been trained for it and that you're already seeing yourself in the position.
2. Create a list of questions and answer them out loud
Over the last week, I had been driving around talking out loud to myself. People around me either thought I was on bluetooth or just a straight up psycho, but yesterday, as they asked question after question that I had answered out loud in my car, I was relieved. Put yourself in the position of the employer--what would you want to know about the candidate? What questions would you ask? And if you can't think of any, go with the basics; where do you see yourself in a few years? What made you apply for the job? What do you think you bring to the table?
3. Repeat the question in your answer
Getting off track in an interview is so easy. What helps with that is repeating the question asked. So for instance, if the interviewer says, "How has your current position trained you for this position?" You start your answer with "My current position trained me for this position by..." It sends an alert to your brain that this is the line of questioning we're following and forces you to provide a concise answer and example.
4. Arrive early
My interview was scheduled for 9 a.m. I was in the parking lot at 8:30 and in the lobby at 8:45. It's important to not show up extremely early because then it can come across as desperate. But showing up a few minutes early shows that you're courteous and good with time management, which is often a requirement for any job you're applying for.
Smiling indicates that you're relaxed. If your interviewer sees that you're panicking, they're going to feel like you're unprepared for the job and would also panic while on the clock. Show them you're relaxed, at ease and that you cope well under pressure by flashing your pearly whites. But don't do it too much or you'll look just as crazy as I did talking to myself in my car!