Hey! My name is Shanti, and I’m 24. Which makes me super-old, I know. But that also means that I know stuff. Helpful stuff! Grown-up stuff. And the stuff I know… it will help get you the job you want one day.
Because my job? I interview people who want jobs with the company I work for. Which means all day, I have to make super difficult decisions about who gets picked and who doesn’t. There’s a LOT to talk about, so let’s do this!
First Things First
Being called to an interview means two good things. First, it means you submitted your CV — cool! — which means you took responsibility for your life. Second, somebody saw your CV and decided they wanted to talk to you. You’re already doing great.
Before The Interview
Oh my goodness, don’t be nervous. If you’re nervous, you’re not being yourself. The whole reason someone like me wants to talk to you is because we think you’re probably going to do a good job.
The best way to not be nervous? Know your stuff.
Look for information about the company you want to work for and the job you want. Do some quick searching on the internet so that you know all your facts and can ask good questions. Nothing is cooler than interviewing a young woman who is prepared to talk business.
Dress For the Job You Want
Every job has a different expectation of what you should wear to work. In some companies, you have to wear a uniform everyday. In others, you can be much more free to express yourself. My sister wears jeans to her job everyday. If I did that at mine, I’d be in trouble.
Pick something appropriate that’s going to make you feel confident and professional and most of all, natural. Being too casual is disrespectful — someone once interviewed in flip-flops and I almost died — but don’t overdress either. If you totally don’t know, ask your mom, your aunt, a big sister… anyone who you think will give good advice.
If you usually wear makeup, wear makeup. If you usually don’t. Whatever.
A Captivating and Confident Businesswoman
So, you’re here. It may be an office, or a restaurant. There’s probably many busy people rushing about. You’re probably in a chair in a lobby, waiting to talk. This is where you get nervous, right?
Don’t. Be. Nervous. Even if you are, find that tiger inside you and fight through it. If you’re nervous, you’re not the real you. They want to hire the real you.
So, now it’s time to talk. Your handshake is important. Smiling is important. Eye contact is important. Maintain your breath, speak slowly and confidently. Sit forward in your chair, and look 100% into whatever is being said.
When the interviewer’s done with questions and explanation, this is your turn to ask.
What to ask?
Well, you can ask anything related to the job. If you did you research before, you probably already have some awesome questions ready. Questions are not NOT disrespectful — they show you that you’re a critical thinker, not a robot who just says yes to everything.
One Last Thing
Remember: the only way to fail is to quit! If you have a bad interview — I have had, like, six! — learn from your mistakes and do better next time.
Now go out there and do it, girl!