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Hello, my career-oriented ladies and #bossbabes.
I’m currently writing this on the train to my Disney internship, and I am feeling so good! To be honest, the commute is a nightmare, but I’m also traveling from super far away (and saving so much on rent so it’s totally worth the extra few hours). Since I was 16, I’ve had several interviews- from my first part-time job at Justice Just for Girls, to age 24 where I’ve got my graduate internship with Disney. It’s universally known that there are job interview dos and don’ts.
Looking back at my 18/19-year-old self, doing phone interviews for internships…YIKES. I made so many mistakes. Luckily, I’ve learned from those mistakes and now consider myself a consistent successful interviewer? Interviewee?
The whole interview process can be extremely intimidating. However, by using these interview dos and don’ts, I’m totally confident you’ll be able to crush the game and get yourself your dream career.
Millennial Advice: Interview Dos and Don’ts
Do: Research the company.
You’ve probably been applying for a million and a half jobs, and forget what each company does (since they’re usually all different in one way or another). Find out more about the company you’re interviewing for- more specifically your department.
For example, I have applied for jobs related to the environment/sustainability. It helps to read into company goals and assess any public records and reports that they’ve put out in the past. If you can reference them during one of your interview question answer, even better (it shows them you’ve studied up and really want that position)!
Don’t: Wing it.
I’m not gonna lie, winging it is always tempting. But if your interviewer asks you a question related to the company and you just stare back with a blank face…woof.
Practice by looking up commonly asked questions during interviews, and having your answers readily on hand…just don’t make them too rehearsed. You don’t want to look like you’re reading off a teleprompter.
It helps to have a family member or friend ask you questions. Usually, they’ll all ask different things giving you an opportunity to prepare different answers. Also, what I like to do is write down keywords from certain questions and form my answers from those keywords.
Do: Dress Professionally.
As for interview dos and don’ts, this is a definite DO. I know I read a fact somewhere that people form impressions of you in like the first 5 to 10 seconds. Before you even start, there’s a pretty good chance that they already have already formed some sort of impression of you. CONSIDER YOSELF JUDGED.
I understand many companies are starting to be more accepting of about piercings and tattoos, but in my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep the visibility to a minimum.
Make sure you look clean, neat and professional, and are dressed up in business attire. It shows you’re willing to work, are dedicated, and want to make a positive impression.
Don’t: Arrive late.
Pretty self-explanatory here. Be on time! Not only does that make a bad impression, but it’ll stress you the f out. Calculate your departure and arrival times accordingly and account for anything that may get in your way i.e. traffic.
Do: Ask Questions.
When I started interviewing, I didn’t do this. ROOKIE MISTAKE.
There’s no way you know everything about the position you’re applying for, along with the company culture etc. Research and write questions and ideas before or even during the interview (if you think of one)! I usually ask 3 or 4 questions, from topics about the company culture, future outlooks of the company, and the interviewer’s personal favorite part about working for the company…people love talking about themselves!
Don’t: Ask About the $$$!
Obviously, we’re only getting a job to pay the bills and buy ourselves some wine and chipotle. I mean, there’s gotta be a reason why when people win the lotto the first thing they do is quit their jobs.
Unless it’s a volunteer job, you’ll eventually find out about the money. The interviewer may mention it during the interview, or after they extend an offer. Be patient my dears.
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Do: Take Notes.
Taking notes shows that you’re intent on listening to the interviewer, and are concerned with remembering the information they mention. It also demonstrates organizational skills that are typically admired by companies. When you take notes, you have something to follow-up about after the interviewer.
I tend to black out during the interview and forget a lot (nervous habit), so note taking for me is crucial.
Do: Follow Up.
Follow up post interview with an email thanking them for their time and valuable information they shared. Be specific in mentioning certain topics that were discussed, or a new and interesting fact you learned about the company. I wouldn’t recommend writing the follow-up too soon. You don’t want it to look like you had a draft completed prior to the interview. Also, make sure to get the name and emails of all the people involved in the process. If there is a lot of people? Stick to the main interviewer.
Do: Be confident.
You got this!!!! A company doesn’t want to hire you if you have any self-doubt. Just remember that with any new job, there will always be a learning curve. If you got to the interview stage, you’re fit to excel in whatever role you’re interviewing for. Just follow these interview dos and don’ts and get ready to kick some interview a$$!
Believe in yourselves, my beautiful friends!
For more life advice, check out my other post about why it’s okay to not have your life figured out as a twenty-something, here!