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How to Prepare for a Job Interview

After three amazing years as a Social Media Support Consultant for Adobe, I’m officially saying goodbye on June 25th, 2021. I want to invest in my blog, my YouTube Channel, & continue to help people through my intuitive card readings. But I also need to be rational & keep a stable primary income. I am actively applying to new career opportunities & keeping an open mind as opportunities come to me. The end of June is coming up quickly, but with my approach to job searching & prep for interviews, I’m eager & hopeful. With several interviews under my belt & my experience as a Hiring Manager, here’s how to prepare for a job interview.

Set Interview Goals

I am a very goal-oriented person, so I do everything in life with a goal in mind. Looking for a new job is no exception. I always set at least three goals for myself before an interview. The goals I set are always role-specific & highlight my strengths. By interviewing with goals, I get the most out of my time & put my best foot forward. I proactively find ways to emphasize my talents, even if my interviewer doesn’t directly ask for them.

Here are some examples of my Interview Goals:
  • Show that you’re a Creative & Strategic Storyteller
  • Highlight your Entrepreneurial & Solutions-focused Mindset
  • Share your Love of Learning & how any new project is an opportunity to learn & grow

Do your Research

Learn everything you can about the company you’re interviewing with, & read the role description that you’re interviewing for. Find an About page on the company website, & read every single word of it. What is the company’s mission? Do you agree with that mission? What are the company values? Do you agree with those values? Is the job description clear? Is it something that you can actually see yourself doing every day? Don’t forget that you’re also interviewing this company, & take note of any of your own concerns!

Look for a Team page on the company’s website, & find the person you’re interviewing with. Familiarize yourself with who they are, their role in the company, & how Teams are currently structured. How big is the company? Will the interviewer be your direct manager? Are you having a phone screen with a recruiting coordinator who reports back to the role’s actual Hiring Manager? Keep these things in mind.

Have the Answers Ready

Most interviewers will use the standard Top 10 Interview Questions, or they may use similar variations of the same interview questions. Think of your interview prep as studying for a test. Have the answers ready so that you’re ready for any question asked of you. For an onsite interview, I compile my resources & create a cheat sheet in a notebook to use during the interview as well as take notes.

For phone calls or Zoom interviews, I always use Evernote. I personally love Evernote, & I use it for everything, from Interview prep to Travel Itineraries. After scheduling an interview, I create a New Note, & I fill it with all the information that I’ve compiled. This way, I feel well-prepared, & I have all the answers neatly organized, just in case I lose my train of thought. Instead of awkward silences as I’m trying to gather my thoughts, I glimpse at the bullet points of my Evernote, & I pick up right where I left off. Here’s an Example Interview Prep Evernote Template.

Have Questions for your Interviewer

As a former Hiring Manager for IPSY, the worst way to end an interview is to not have any questions for your interviewer. When someone doesn’t have any questions for me at the end of an interview, I take it as they are either: 1. Not very interested in the company or the role or 2. Not very concerned about if our company is a good fit for them.

Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know your interviewer. I often start interviews telling potential employees that I may be their future boss. If this is your only opportunity to get to know your interviewer on a deeper level, as well as get the inside scoop on the company you could potentially be working for, take it! Have questions ready to ask your interviewer, so that when the opportunity for you to ask questions comes, you’re ready. I am always more inclined to want to work with someone who’s ready to challenge me.

Here are some of my favorite questions to ask:
  1. What would a typical day in this role look like?
  2. Is there anything that concerns you about my background for this role?
  3. Assuming a person performs well in this role, what career growth opportunities are available to them in the future?
  4. What can you tell me about the company & team culture?
  5. What are the next steps & timing of the hiring pipeline?

Key Takeaways

Being well-prepared for an interview is the first impression that you make with a company. In order to make a good impression, you want to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate, but you also want to show that you’re testing to see that they’re a good fit for you too. If a typical day in this role is not something that you’re jumping out of your seat to do, you can take it as a red flag that you should keep searching. If you’re applying to an entry-level position & hope to move into a managerial role one day, you’ll want to ensure there are opportunities for growth.

You need to take control of your career & decide what is going to be the best choice for you.

Even after several phone screens with recruiters & Zoom interviews with potential colleagues, hiring managers, & even startup Founders, I’m still searching for the perfect role for me. I may have the luxury of having until the end of June to find the right role, but if you’re currently unemployed, I want to express the importance of not rushing the process. Don’t accept a role that you’re not excited about, take a significant pay cut, or choose to work at a company whose culture doesn’t align with your own beliefs, goals, values, & definition of hustle.

You deserve to have a career that you love, so don’t settle for less!

Wait for a job offer that pays you well, because you know your worth. There’s no reason to take a $30K pay cut in this economy. Find a role that makes you excited to get to work every day, & truly find joy in your career. If you keep these things in mind when you prepare for a job interview, you can’t go wrong. Good luck!

XO Denise

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