How to knock your next interview out of the park!

By Kinsey Featherston - February 19th, 2020

Job interviews can be stressful and a little scary. Don’t worry –we’ve all been there! Whether it’s your very first job interview or your 20th job interview, the process somehow always seems daunting. To help make that next big interview a smashing success, we sought the advice of a true expert in this field. We sat down with one of our incredible Common Desk – Deep Ellum members, Meredith Smith – VP of Recruiting at Pursuit Sales Solution, and asked her to shed some light on the process to make it as painless as possible just for you!

How to wow your interviewer:

First impressions matter! Most interviewers say they know within the first few seconds if they’re going to hire someone or not. Showing up dressed professionally is always a good choice. Make sure you bring plenty of copies of your resume printed on quality paper and do your homework! Check out the company’s website, see what you can find, and be prepared with a few questions. This will show the interviewer that you are not only prepared for your interview, but you’re genuinely interested in the company. And most importantly, have good energy and confidence when you walk into the room! You are incredible, and you want them to see that, too.

The number one thing anyone searching for a job should do:

Don’t just assume what you’ve heard about a specific company is true. While you should definitely check out company reviews online, don’t let that be the final word! Check out the company for yourself –do an interview and experience the organization first hand. Always do your homework and ask solid questions!

Dressing for the company vs. sticking to the classic, professional look:

As Vivienne Westwood says, “when in doubt, overdress.” It’s always a better choice to come dressed in professional attire. This will tell your interviewer that you take this job seriously and respect the interview process.

The best way to prepare for your interview:

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again! Always do your homework! Do your research on the kind of job you’re looking for, as well as the company. Check out every corner of their website, watch any videos they may offer, look their managers up on Linkedin and even try to connect with them or other people in the company! This will not only give you a better idea of the company culture, but you will feel so much more prepared once it’s time to sit down with your interviewer.

What to bring to your interview:

Even though we are moving into a more digital age, Meredith believes it is always a good idea to go old school and bring a printed resume! Always take the chance to go above and beyond to show that you respect the process and come prepared.

Going from a phone interview to an in-person interview:

Always have fun and bring some good energy to the interview. Like-ability will always score you major points, but definitely make sure you know where you stand before you hang up that phone! Be bold and ask, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t move me forward to the next step?”

What it looks like to stand out from the rest:

Some companies will go through a handful of candidates, and some will go through hundreds! Always do something that will make you stand out. And you know the drill: come prepared and have great energy! Companies want to hire staff who are enthusiastic about their role.

Knowing the right questions to ask:

There will always come a time during your interview to ask a question or two. Don’t be afraid to ask for some feedback! This will show your interviewer that you are coachable and teachable. It will also help you understand where you stand, and even give you a better peace of mind as you wait for that email or phone call letting you know if you’ve gotten the job.

How personality and interpersonal skills can play into the process:

Sometimes, your personality is what can ultimately win you the job! Some roles out there require specific requirements, but ultimately, it can be that “IT factor” that beats out the candidate with the perfect resume who was a little less than enthusiastic.

How to knock it out of the park:

We asked Meredith to put it in her own words what it looks like to totally ace an interview.

“Knocking an interview out of the park is doing more than what the average person does. Do your homework but dig a little deeper,  prepare with questions that are not basic – ask about the company goals, top performers, and the manager’s management style, among other questions.  Always bring a resume and arrive 15 minutes early. Do more than the average person. Average doesn’t WIN an interview. I believe work ethic and grit can win a job as much as a “perfect” resume but you gotta separate yourself and that doesn’t come by doing the average/basic interview process.”

And there you have it! A few tips and tricks of the trade from our friend Meredith. Next time you’re heading into an interview, our hope is that you feel more prepared, relaxed, and excited to confidently step into that interview room and come out with your dream job. If you are a part of our Common Desk community, don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow coworkers who may know a few things about the company or job you’re interested in! Our community is special for a reason, and we always encourage you to make the most of it. Best of luck, and happy job hunting!

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