After graduating college with a degree in broadcasting, I hustled, applied for jobs and eventually landed one … as the overnight video editor for the morning news. It wasn’t what I originally planned but was a great way to gain experience and eventually I landed an on-air position. I was fortunate to have the guidance and interview preparation of my mom to be polished for that first job interview. Here are a few things you can learn from her.
Your résumé should not be one-size-fits-all. Likely, the types of positions you’re applying for are related, but each position will be seeking slightly different qualifications. Read the job description carefully, then use similar verbiage from the job description in your skills list. No doubt, the current economy has made it a competitive marketplace for job applicants. This interview tip will help your résumé stand out. If you want the job, invest the time up front in your application so that your future employer will know you’re willing to put in the work.
Review the company’s website. Not only is a job interview a chance for the company to learn if they want to hire you; it’s an opportunity for you to see if you want to work for that company. As you review the website and have questions, write them down. You’ll need two or three to ask at the end of the interview when the committee asks if you have any questions for them. Talk with others who work at the company or those who have interacted with the company. You can search your LinkedIn connections to see who you may know that works at the company. Here are some LinkedIn tips for searching your network connections and the extended connections of your network, which could be a great way to have someone you know introduce you to an employee of the company. This can help you learn more about the company’s culture or even help you land an interview.
We sound different when we talk out loud than we sound in our head. You might even make a video of yourself so you can hear how you sound and see your facial expressions. Grab a list of potential interview questions like these from Indeed, The Muse and Inc. and practice them. Many interviewers will ask behavioral questions. These give the candidate an opportunity to speak about how they’ve responded in specific similar situations they may face in their new role. While you’re practicing, it may even help to type out your answers in bullet points under each question.
Conduct your mock interview with the same platform you’ll be using for the real one. If it’s a phone interview, practice on the phone. If it’s a virtual interview, use the same platform the interview will take place on. That way you’ll be familiar with the technology and ensure your computer is working ahead of time. Indeed offers these tips for succeeding during a Zoom interview. You’ll want to be sure to check the lighting and might even want to cut out a photo to place around the computer’s camera to help you focus on the interviewer. If you want to take things one additional step, practice sharing your portfolio via the share screen feature.
Want to gain the skills you need to help you prepare for your next job interview? Join us for our upcoming Adulting: Interview Tips class on October 14. To find out about more courses like this, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all upcoming courses in our digital catalog. Call 405.377.3333 with questions.
Dana Wallace is the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing at Meridian.