Studies show that 85% of American workers are happy with their job. (CNBC). But at some point, we’re all sitting in the hot seat – the interview chair.
Maybe you’ve recently left a position to pursue a dream career. Perhaps you’re a recent graduate, entering the workforce for the first time. Whatever the reason, you’ve made your way to an interview. Are you prepared?
Get Mentally and Physically Ready
One of the best pieces of advice for an interviewee is to be ready for the interview. This means spend some time in the days or week leading up to the interview to get ready both mentally and physically. A first impression only happens once, so make sure your first impression with your (potential) future employer is a good one! What does ready look like?
- Get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes it’s difficult to rest before a big interview, especially that dream job, but researchers suggest adults need between 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. That means turn off the electronics and calm your mind.
- Know the route and be prepared for potential traffic. Plan to show up for an interview at LEAST 15 minutes in advance. This gives you time to fill out any necessary paperwork and get through any security or front desk staff if needed. If you’re navigating a new city or your interview is scheduled during rush hour, give yourself plenty of time to move through traffic.
- Wear something appropriate. Know ahead of time if the business has a dress code. Experts agree that the ‘stuffiness’ of your interview outfit may vary from an interview with a start-up vs a corporate firm, for example. The best rule of thumb, when in doubt, go classic. Black pants or skirt, solid colored shirt (or a non-distracting pattern). Maybe add in a blazer or jacket. This way you look professional without being over the top. Avoid large flashy jewelry or anything you may gravitate towards to fidget with while nervous.
- Have your questions ready. Inevitably all interviewers will ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” Don’t waste this potential to learn and engage with current employees. Have at least two to three questions to ask as they relate to the company.
- Have answers to the ‘standard questions’ ready to go. Think about your responses to questions such as, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” or “What assets do you bring to this position?” Having a prepared or well thought out response limits rambling and allows you to really give the best impression.
Do the Research
Along the same lines as being mentally and physically prepared, make sure you’ve done your research on the company. If you’re going to interview at a radio station, for example, and don’t know any of their stations that’s not a good sign. Look for information on the company through their website and in the news.
Consider these questions to ask:
- What is the company culture? How do employees get along with each other?
- What do you (as the interviewer) enjoy most about working for this company?
- What is the five year plan for this position?
- What does success look like for this position? Is the company looking for a percentage increase? Growth in customer base?
- Know the role. If there are questions you have about the position’s job description be sure to ask. If there are certain bullet points for which you may not feel as qualified, then be sure to have an answer for those potential questions!
If you’re interested in a career switch, consider radio. The 5 Star Media team is now hiring for several part-time and full time positions. See available positions here!