I’m not about giving arbitrary advice. Every “How-To” I post, any advice I give, comes from personal experience. This “series” started with my blog post “How To Deal With A Horrible Boss“, which at the time I was dealing with. I was so unhappy with my boss I decided to seek new employment. Shortly thereafter, I wrote “How To Nail You Next Phone Interview“. That was just days after I nailed my own phone interview and was called back for an in person interview.
I now bring you How To Nail Your In Person Interview. I’m excited to say that I’ve landed a great position, with a great company, and I no longer have to deal with a Horrible Boss.
I’m even prouder to be able to say that I’ve been offered every job I’ve ever interviewed for in person (I don’t have that track record with phone interviews lol).
How do I do it?
No, don’t stroll into the interview in sweats and a t-shirt. Dress in a way that doesn’t make you feel nervous or uptight. When I first started interviewing in law school I wore aggressive suits. That just is not me. It doesn’t reflect my personality, or who I am as a person.
So I started to wear what I felt comfortable in. My go-to interview style is girly-professional. For instance, I once wore a quarter length sleeved pink knee length dress. To my most recent interview I wore a knee length grey dress. Sometimes I put a blazer on over these dresses. Sometimes I wear really cute heels.
I’m not interviewing at Elle or Vogue or any place that really appreciates fashion. I’m usually sitting across the table from three old men. That doesn’t matter. I appreciate fashion. My clothing choices make me feel comfortable and confident. And that confidence shines through.
Be The Co-Worker They Want to Hang Out With
When people are hiring they’re looking to add a new person to an existing group. That means that they’re looking for someone with a personality that won’t clash or cause issues with others.
When I’m in an interview I try to be as amiable as possible without coming across as annoying. That means smiling (not like a crazy person, just in a genuine way), nodding, and behaving in a way that says you can relate to whatever it is they’re saying.
I also try to find an area that gets them talking about something other than the position. For instance an attorney at a major company was interviewing me, and he mentioned that his sister also attended my undergrad. Right there, that’s something we had in common. I started talking about college football, he started telling me his tailgating stories. We clicked, we bonded. I became a person that he could possibly himself joking with in the future, or just generally sharing good office vibes with.
At my most recent interview I was interviewed by women who actually worked in the position I was trying to get. I knew that meant that I would be someone that they would interact with everyday. So I had to make my time with them a positive one. Again, in a situation like this you have to be confident, pleasant, and you have to try to relate to them in some way.
Make Eye Contact
This is a super basic tip, but it is so important. This goes hand in hand with confidence. If you’re not making eye contact you will seem nervous and uninterested. Those are two impressions you don’t want to give at an interview.
Look directly at them (again be normal. No crazy eyes), show them that you’re interested and engaged. Eye contact can be a real deal breaker.
Another biggie. I mentioned this in the phone interview post. However, I think that question asking changes a bit in an in person interview, especially if you’ve already done a phone interview with the same people.
In this situation it’s best to ask a few questions about the position. But then ask the interviewers questions about themselves.
- How did you get involved in this field?
- How long have you worked in this field?
- What is your work load like?
- Have you moved up quickly in this position?
These questions relate to the job you’re after but it also pulls in the interviewer.
Alright guys, so there you have it. My quick guide to nailing an in person interview! Y’all are brilliant, beautiful people and I have no doubt that you will slay your next interview! 🙂