Everybody hates interviews- both interviewer and interviewee. It’s hard to think of a more stressful yet necessary component of almost any job out there, and yet we go into it all the time waiting to get shot down.
I have been on both ends of the interview process as well as done it in various other, analogous scenarios: pitching to clients, investors, etc. and so forth. In all of them I have sweat bullets and felt crazily nervous.
Bad news? That feeling never, ever goes away.
Good news? I have developed a bunch of things that I have found really help me out and are really easy to do! Try these interview-saving hacks for your next interview and hopefully land that super sweet job you’ve been dreaming of!
1) Research The Company And Know Three Things About It
This one is great. before you go in, look at the company and see what they do. I don’t care if you’re going to be a mail sorter in the lowest dungeon levels of accounting. Doesn’t matter. Look up and memorize three things about them that you could possibly work into a job interview. That way, whenever it’s appropriate, you can bring them. Example:
“As you can see, we process a great deal of mail and we need someone to handle it.”
“That makes sense. I’m very excited to help, especially given that much of that mail is used to confirm aid shipment to Rwanda.”
Shoehorned? A little. But you’ll automatically be in like the top 50% of interviewers because most people don’t even bother to do that, and it shows you care even a little bit.
2) Power Pose Before The Interview
Of all the advice I’ll give you on this list, this one will probably sound by far the dumbest. But it’s true- find a good power pose and do it for 2 minutes before the interview. Do it in the bathroom, where nobody can see you. Studies have proven that posing in a powerful position actually chemically makes you more confident and assertive, which will totally help you (you can find a really amazing TED talk on the subject here, by Dr. Amy Cuddy).
3) Don’t Bullshit Specific Questions
When I interviewed people I would ask them questions I was like 95% sure they wouldn’t know the answer to off the top of their heads just to see how they would react. I immediately discounted people who obviously made up answers.
You know what I did value? People who said “I don’t know, but here’s how I’d go about finding out.” That shows critical thinking (which a surprising amount of people lack) and a willingness to accept that you don’t know everything but won’t let that stop you.
4) Thank The Interviewer And Send A Follow-Up Email
You may think that interviewers don’t care about this and you feel like a pushy candidate doing so. But they do appreciate it. Just email them directly after the interview with:
“Dear X: Thank you for the opportunity to interview today! If you have any followup questions I am at your disposal. Best, Y.”
That’s it. Short and sweet. Trust me: you’ll stand out because a surprising amount of people don’t do this. Also make sure to follow-up the first business day after they should have made a decision, or after 7 business days if they didn’t specify a time. This signals your interest and can often make or break the viability of a candidate versus a very similarly qualified candidate.
All of these things are simple hacks that will take you 5 minutes or less to do, but they will definitely increase your chances of being remembered- and being remembered is one of the first, most important steps in the interview process.