Interview advice is widely covered on our site. At the bottom of this blog, we’ll include a list of interview blogs and videos that we’ve posted over the years. Also, if you need really specific interview advice, pick up a copy of All Work, No Pay, as I have a list of practice interview questions in that book that are sure to help you prepare for any interview. Also, check out our Intern Queen Classes – as those include a copy of my book and the class lightly talks about interviews as well.
I want to give you my perspective (as an employer) regarding how I see interviews. My biggest concern as a small business owner is that I’ll hire someone and they’ll leave. They might leave because they get called to their dream job. They may leave because they didn’t know what they were signing up for. Or they might leave because they just didn’t like the company or their role. I’m explaining this because it’s important to know how the person you are interviewing is feeling and thinking, during the interview.
When I interview someone, I want to make sure of the following:
A. They actually WANT to work for my company. They aren’t just applying to apply. During the application process, I’ll specifically request a cover letter. If they won’t take the time to write a cover letter, they probably aren’t the best fit for the position. And if they can’t write a cover letter and explain why they are the best fit for the position, they probably aren’t the best fit.
I encourage people to have “dream jobs” but if someone tells me in an interview that their dream job is to be a celebrity publicist – they are instantly capping the time they will spend at my company. I know that as soon as they find something relevant to their field, they will jump ship. The moral of the story here is apply for things that actually interest you – things you are passionate about. Why waste anyone’s time interviewing for a company that you are ultimately going to leave?
B. They understand the job. The last thing I want to do is hire someone, have them start, and not like what they are doing. If someone doesn’t want to do the job, they probably aren’t going to do their best, and they are ultimately going to try to find another job. It’s my job (as the employer) to be very specific about the job description during the interview process. I’d rather filter the candidate out during the interview process than train and hire the person – invest a ton of time- and then have them leave.
As the interviewee, you should feel the same way. You want to make sure you have a solid understanding of the role this position plays in the greater scheme of things. Walk out of the interview having a very specific and clear understanding of your day to day responsibilities at the company. When you have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, ask them
C. Learn everything you can about the company and company's culture. Whenever someone interviews with my company, I want them to know as much as possible about not just the role but our company and the way it works. We are a small company – less than 10 people. We have a very nice company culture but it’s nothing like working at a huge company where you can make a ton of friends, drink beer on Fridays, and join a company softball league. It’s my job to be upfront about that with potential employees to ensure that what we do have to offer (work from home opportunities, flexible scheduling, cozy environment) is the right fit for them? I’ve learned that it’s not just about finding the right fit for the role, it’s about finding the right fit for the organizations.
Before going into an interview, do as much research as possible about the company. Look up pictures of their office online, look up current and former employees and read about them. Follow the company on Instagram, do they talk about their team members there? Check out all of their social channels.
Hopefully this advice helps you go into an interview armed with not only YOUR perspective but also the perspective of an employer who you may be meeting with. Good luck and let me know how else I can help.
Also, leave me a comment down below telling me some of the things you look for when applying for a job and interviewing for a position.