How to prepare for an interview
You slip on your lucky suit – navy with subtle pinstripes – sending the message that you’re professional, but you’re not afraid to color outside of the lines a bit. You’re wearing a slight huge grin on your face as you button up your shirt and remember the last time you donned this outfit; it was three years ago, now, when you last embarked on this interview journey. The fantasies of “your new job” come to a halt as your hands reach the fourth button from the top. These clothes don’t fit quite like they used to. Time for plan B.
We’ve all been there: the excitement, the jitters, the daydreams. Whether this is your first, or your fiftieth, interview, there’s no denying that they’re nerve-wracking! Even the most skilled interviewers experience the I-suddenly-don’t-remember-my-name feeling while sitting in front of an interviewer. In fact, this article, written by Harvard Business Review, explains to us that “unfamiliar situations can cause a brain-jam if we do not approach them with a conscious sense of how to be.” It continues by stating that we can reach our goals (in this case, breeze through our interviews) by building up structures that enhance trust, decrease stress, and create an emotional connection with people or a project.
Here at AquantUs, we want you to walk away from your interview feeling like it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. So, we’ve compiled a list – with the help of feedback from clients, candidates, and our own employees – to help you through each stage of the interview process. Think of us as your friend cheering you on to the finish line of a race. Or your friend cheering you on through a hot-wing eating competition. We don’t judge.
Without further ado, we present the first step in the interview process.
Research, research, research (and then research some more).
We won’t spend a lot of time on this one as we have full faith that you already knew this, but researching the company beforehand is vital. In addition, finding out as much information as possible about your interviewers can really elevate your interview from, well, an interview, into a conversation. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your potential new boss/coworkers and you want to make sure that you’ll integrate seamlessly.
After running through the company’s website with a fine-toothed-comb, venture out to their social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Glassdoor). This will (hopefully) give you insight to their culture. Make note of some things that stand out to you. For example, we’re big on company culture at AquantUs (humble brag). If you were to interview for us, you would see that we volunteered on behalf of Ahimsa house at the PGA FedEx Cup. This would be an excellent segue to talk about your involvement in the community, extracurricular activities, etc.
An example conversation is as follows:
“I saw on your LinkedIn that your company volunteered at the FedEx Cup this year and you donated your proceeds to Ahimsa House . I love that y’all did that as I’m a big animal lover… I regularly volunteer at the local animal shelter. How did the company select this organization to represent?”
We’re not saying the conversation has to go exactly like that, but you get the point — you want to make yourself likable and memorable!
As we mentioned, it helps to find information about the person interviewing you as well. While we suggest staying away from their personal social media (you don’t want to mention that their son’s 5th birthday party last weekend looked like fun), a quick google search on their professional accomplishments and any organizations they belong to can help you find something to bond over.
Just like the Harvard Business Review article says, a little extra prep can help calm your nerves and help you float through your interviews. By familiarizing yourself with the company and its’ people, you can increase your Oxytocin and lower your stress.
Check back soon for step two in the interview process — we’ll be talking fashion!