By: Sarah Roach
There has been only 6 months in between the time that I have gone from an interviewee to an interviewer, and I can honestly tell you that the view from each side of the table is very different. With that being said, I remember how stressful the interview process is and I’d like to offer up a little, candid advice for those of you prepping for interviews.
Dad is sometimes right.
As painful as that is to admit, sometimes dad can give some good business and even general life advice. Anyone that has met me will most likely agree that I have a loud personality and am a bit of a talker- this is especially true when I’m nervous. Before every interview my dad would text me and basically tell me to muzzle my inner-urge to ramble about all my great qualities and experiences, let the interviewer do the talking because that’s when you learn about the company and opportunity at hand. Well, now that I’m interviewing interns and even potential teammates, it turns out dad was right, and I’m not the only nervous talker with a tendency to ramble.
We have your resume and have read it, that’s why we’ve set up this interview. So instead of verbalizing the same thing to us with 15 minutes worth of detail, pick out one aspect of each experience and relate it to the position you’re interviewing for. Tell me what your horrible group project taught you about communication and leadership or how your spot on the marching band taught you to work well within team.
For the love of common sense please read the job description AND Google. After you apply with all of the necessary information, research the agency or company your applying to, the most recent projects and the role of the position you’re applying for. For example, account management in advertising has nothing to do with accounting; even Google can help you out with that.
Make it a conversation.
While we are impressed with your previous experiences and eager to learn more, we need to know that you working here will be beneficial for both parties. So attempt to make the interview a conversation- get to know your interviewer because they ultimately have the power to help. Ask questions about their path to that position, why they like working there and more importantly about how you will be contributing to the company. The more you learn, the more prepared you will be if and when you get to work there.
We all have been in your position at some point and want to help give someone else a chance, so ask questions and let us know you’re interested. You have an opportunity to speak with someone that works there currently and maybe even someone that was in your shoes less than 6 months ago, literally. We are able to tell you about the wacky yet functional office dynamic, our day-to-day roles, client relations, the fact that we have an office dog and wear jeans to work 99% of the time. The experience should be beneficial for all parties involved, so make it a conversation and figure out if that position is the right fit for you and the company.
Be smart about being online.
I’m sure you know this, or have hopefully figured it out by now but yes we “stalk” you online. In the least creepy way possible, potential employers are going to Google you, check out your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other online sources that might throw up a massive red flag about hiring you. While we want to get to know you and know that you’d be fun to work with, we don’t need to see that you practiced your keg stand every night of college or need to see every sketchy selfie from high school. We all have them and most likely love reminiscing about those moments, but just make sure not to cross that fine-line and be careful with what you put out there for potential employers to find.