How to Avoid the Interview Scaries

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Photo: Talent Suede

We’ve all been there, hoping to land a great job or move up in our careers. We get so excited to get a call and an interview is scheduled. An amazing job opportunity is at your fingertips, then you stop and think about the actual interview. You know a reply like “I’ve always wanted to work for your brand” or “I feel I should be making more money” won’t suffice for the 30 or 60 minutes of interview time. Anxiety makes its way in.

What to do?

Don’t choke, but rather, seize the opportunity presented in front of you. This season, we are sharing our tried-and-true ways to combat the interview scaries:

Know Your Resume

Yes, you probably wrote your resume and of course, you know the work you did, so this one may seem obvious, but being able to articulate this is another matter. You should be able to answer specific questions on tasks and key accomplishments. As a Recruiter and a candidate, I can’t tell you how many times this has come up. Read your resume thoroughly and be prepared to answer specifics not just about the role and your “stand-out moments,” but the environment, company and managers.

The Heart of the Matter – Self Awareness

Know what you enjoyed doing and what you loved about the company and culture. If your boss or clients loved you, explain why. Think back on times where you came out of your comfort zone, what you learned (yes, that includes managers too), projects you inherited and projects you didn’t like but did anyway. Know your capabilities and be honest and where you need to improve, whether it’s office-technical skills or soft skills such as giving a strong presentation. Maybe it is the commute, working lengthy hours, or continuously waiting for co-workers to submit their reports long after due dates. After all, these could contribute to reasons why you stayed or why you are looking for a new opportunity.

Stay / Go Questions

Be prepared to share why you left a role. If it’s personal such as a family or health issue, keep it brief. Know why you stayed and why it’s time to leave. Even if a Recruiter or hiring manager approached you, they will need to be reassured that you are seriously considering a career move.

Research to Qualify

We’re often told to research the company and those who will be in the interview. This remains good advice, not just for conversation pieces, but to discover similar interests and if it is a good fit. People are what make a company. Owners, CEOs, Managers and HR can represent a good or bad culture. Even if the company is a brand or location that you’ve been eyeing, keep your qualifiers open. Ask around if anyone may know about the inside climate. This is where your screening process kicks in. Do the research you need for your own peace of mind.

Think of Questions to Ask

Think of what matters to you or what you’re curious about, whether it’s the pay or benefits, direction of the company, the team, upper management, travel opportunities, why this role is open, what is needed from this role, how many people in the company, if sales are up, and so on.

Get Organized

Have your resume materials, portfolio (if applicable), paperwork, outfit and shoes ready. Have a back-up of everything. Follow the process and complete online forms if needed. Be prepared to list references if asked. You know the drill.

Be Ready for the Unexpected

They may be running late, you may get caught in traffic, there may be weather changes. They may be in a bad mood – don’t take it personally. These things happen. Communicate if something comes up at your end. Offer a reschedule or to stay longer if needed. Above all, be flexible!

Practice

You knew we’d mention this. If you feel you need to practice, ask a friend to give you a quick run through. It will be interesting to see what questions they ask.

Realize the power of being prepared. By being prepared you will seem more interested and this will do tons for your confidence level. This will help alleviate worry and stress, allowing you to use that energy in a better way. Seize the opportunity and remember, you manage your career. Being prepared also helps for a great conversation and is the best antidote for the interview scaries.

Happy Halloween and thank you for the read! Visit Talent Suede for fashion jobs, events, and more articles. We hope you land a job you love. #careerstyle @talentsuede or see our website www.talentsuede.com