Photo via Marten Bjork on Unsplash
You know when preparing for a job interview you have to read over the job description, prep for questions, and spruce up your resume, but what else should you be aware of? There are dozens of contributing factors which determine whether or not you get the job, but there are three major aspects of interviews you should consider before going in. Here is a quick and easy guide of the three things no one tells you about job interviews:
1. You need to have answers to questions you don’t have answers for.
It may seem like it doesn’t make sense, but it actually does. Do a quick google search for “classic interview questions” and skim through them--if you find any that you don’t have an immediate answer for, it’s time to put your thinking cap on and come up with a response. You do not have to learn every interview question out there or memorize every response, you just have to have some general answer you can call upon during your interview. For example, one of the most common interview questions is, “Name a time when you had to solve a problem and explain how or what you did to resolve that problem.” If you can’t think of an answer to that question on the fly, take a second to gather yourself and refer back to a situation in your past where you solved a problem or, simply, make one up. Maybe you have never encountered a problem while working as a cashier at a Staples, but did you ever witness a coworker overcome one? What did they do to solve the problem you observed or learned from? If you struggle to think of a problem you have encountered, perhaps creating one would help. It might jog your memory and help you think of an answer.
2. You should know about the values of the company you’re applying to.
While this isn’t required to know for a job interview, it will certainly put you ahead of the pack. If you’re aware of the company’s mission statement and what their values are, you can show your interviewer that the company’s values align with your own and that you care about what the company cares about. By learning these aspects of the company, you will also get a sense of what kind of people and personalities they are looking for in their new hires and fit yourself easily into that mold (if you agree with the company’s ideas, that is). This is also a great way to find out if you support what the company supports. Maybe you don’t really like what the company stands for and that’s fine! At least you found out ahead of time before you went to your interview.
3. Your interviewers are (usually) not trying to trick you.
Your interviewers just want to see how good of a fit you’d be in their company’s workplace, so answer their questions as honestly and earnestly as you can. Make sure to take your time answering each question to avoid stumbling over your words or using filler words like “um.” Take a minute to gather yourself if you need to. They understand you’re nervous and being put on the spot, so don’t worry about the interviewers and focus on yourself--interviewing is just a meeting about showing off, really. You are there to talk yourself up and sell yourself as the best damn employee they are ever going to find. Tell them in detail about the experiences you’ve had at your past jobs or during school and how those experiences have prepared you for this new position.
You should still do some question prepping and edit your resume until it shines. Consider testing out these three job interview secrets no one is talking about. Just remember that if it doesn’t work out, there are plenty of jobs left in the sea and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the position. If you do land the job, make sure to keep your interviewing skills sharp for the next time you want a career change by practicing with a friend or mirror!
Sarah DeLena is currently studying for her masters in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College. She hopes to become an editor of YA literature, her favorite genre, own at least two golden retrievers, and further the legacy of the Oxford comma.