Changing jobs to advance your career or getting your first professional job after college can leave people overwhelmed with anxiety. There are so many things to consider in the process, it’s hard to know where to start. If you’ve been holed up in your house working remotely for the past year and a half, the added stress can make the thought of change even more unbearable. The good thing is that you can walk into your next interview with confidence when you do these things.
Spruce up your resume. Those Microsoft Office templates might provide a good start, but if you really want to stand out in a sea of applicants, have a professional resume writer offer you suggestions to improve. You’d be surprised at the difference they can make. It’s not just about putting information on paper, it’s about the look and feel of the resume as well. For people in creative industries, the layout can make or break your chances of even getting invited for an interview.
Along with your professional resume, a good cover letter tailored to the job you’re applying for is critical. No “Dear Sir or Madam” greetings will do. Take the time to research the company and the names of the people who you want to get in front of. It’s not as hard as you think to find out who the HR director or Marketing VP is at a company. A good resume and cover letter will set you up for success once you get the interview.
A lot of companies do some sleuthing online to learn more about potential candidates. A professional photo and complete LinkedIn profile is a great way to stand out. Leverage this powerful social media tool to network, connect with thought leaders, and others in your industry. Share valuable content on occasion to help you stand out when recruiters come looking. With a good first impression online, you’ll be able to rock your interview.
Human resources professionals don’t pick the worst candidates, they choose the best. Wear confidence that you were one of the best of all the applicants. You don’t need to feel self-conscious, you can walk with confidence that you have the skills they need and you are one of the best options. Too many professionals think they might not be good enough for a role, but the truth is, if you were selected to interview, you passed the first test.
Unfortunately, what you wear matters. You can be the most brilliant mind, but if you walk into an interview looking sloppy and dirty, it’s unlikely you’ll get the job. Wear something stylish but subdued. You don’t want to be distracting, but there is no need to wear outdated pant suits when you can wear a pair of cute bottoms with a simple button-up shirt. Use accessories sparingly, but don’t feel like what you wear must be devoid of fashion.
Learn about the company you want to work for. There is no reason you need to walk into a company blind. You can find out gross revenue for the previous year, read annual reports, and check out their social media profiles to discover their voice. Interviews are as much for you as they are for them. Be prepared with good questions about company culture, corporate policies, and job-related questions.
Find out about how they approach advancement, bonuses, and other career building opportunities. You’ll want to discover how supportive they are of further education and families. What is their take on work/life balance? All of these are important ways you can prepare for your interview.
For the technical interviews, you may also experience tests like brainteasers and IQ tests. You can test you Edgar Allan Poe knowledge here with this fun quiz.
Don’t Share Too Many Personal Details
Your interviewer doesn’t need to know that you were out late drinking last night or any of your personal financial problems. It’s important to keep your interview focused and professional. If they try to dig in to anything that’s outside the scope of the job interview, it’s up to you to redirect the conversation. An interview should be a back and forth, give and take between the parties. But it should not be a juicy tell-all. Hold back on anything related to home, family, or personal life. You don’t want to give the impression that you aren’t planning to be committed to the job.