Your Ultimate Interview Guide

Your Ultimate Interview Guide

Holiday hiring is underway—so, if you’re a candidate in search of a seasonal role, you may be busy on the job hunt!

No matter what industry you’re looking to work in or what type of role you’re pursuing, you’ll likely have to clear one major hurdle before you start your new gig: the job interview.

The interview process may look a little different for all candidates, as the events of the last few years have certainly transformed how companies hire. Some employers may still favor in-person, formal interviews, while others may opt for virtual settings; there could be a panel of company representatives who participate, just one or you may even get to talk with potential colleagues. No matter the format, however, there are some basic things you should keep in mind as you gear up to meet your potential future employer:

Keep it professional:

We’ve all heard that you should approach any job interview with a level of professionalism, but what exactly does that entail? Everything! From how you’re dressed (even if it’s virtual!) to how you make small talk to how prepared you are—bring along a few copies of that resume if you’re in person or email it ahead of time if not—you should go into the interview looking to impress. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your personality shine through, but rather that you can show an employer who you are all while being prompt, prepared, and personable.

Do your homework:

While your interview prep may involve running through some possible questions the employer may ask you and thinking of your responses, part of your strategy should also include research. Learn about the company—how many workers it has, any major recent company news, who’s at the top, and its history—so you can chime into conversations during the interview with genuine knowledge. In the same vein, prepare several questions ahead of time—such as about its approach to flexibility, how it has been weathering the pandemic, or where the company could be headed—to show that you’re thinking ahead, and serious about the job.

Think beyond your resume:

When preparing for a job interview, you may spend some time studying your resume to remember all the details of your previous positions—but employers may want to know more than just your jobs! Consider all the experiences you’ve had that you may not have listed on your resume but could still have helped you develop the skills this employer is looking for: volunteer work, times you’ve juggled hefty home responsibilities with work, interpersonal challenges you’ve successfully navigated.

Get personal:

While employers want to know what skills you can bring to the job, they’ll also want to know more about who you really are! So, don’t hesitate to talk about your family, interests, goals—as all of those factors add up to what you will bring to the workplace.

Follow up:

The interview doesn’t end when you walk out the office door (or close your laptop!). Most employers will expect candidates to follow up with the interviewing team afterwards—within a few days, send an email, place a phone call or you could even send a handwritten card, simply to say thank you for the opportunity. It’s a gesture that may help you stand out when it comes time for hiring—and a small act that could go a long way!