How to Nail a Job Interview | Dream Job Magic Part Two

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Hello & Welcome to Part Two of the Dream Job Magic Blog Series! If this is the first you're hearing of this blog series, feel free to either continue or go back to Part One: Job Searching 101. As mentioned in the previous post, my goal for you is by the end of this 3 Part Series, you will be more confident in your abilities and have a clear vision for your career path.


So, let's get started!


First things first, I have another goal for you! By the end of this post and after you have done your homework... eh I don't like that word, how about we call it "Interview Prep." Anyway! Once you've done your due diligence, my goal is that you feel so self-assured that you nail your next job interview!


You may be sitting there thinking "What makes you the expert?!"


Well! I have pretty much dabbled in everything from recruiting/interviewing candidates to managing teams to giving performance reviews. You name it, I've done it!


Of course, as always, I do not claim to be an expert by any means, but am offering my advice and experience to you as a resource to hopefully help you score that job you've been dreaming of!


Alright, well, like Job Searching 101, let's get some ground rules for interviewing out of the way. If you're like me and pretty much everyone else in the world 🤣, you probably don't LOVE interviewing for jobs. So, please take the below from me as some Key Takeaways to help you be the best candidate possible for both In-Person & Phone Interviews:


In-Person Interview Ground Rules


1. Dress for the Job You Want!

  • You heard me and I'm sure you have heard this many times prior, but seriously do it! Even if you KNOW they dress more casual at the company you are interviewing for, dress up for the interview. Always better to be overdressed, than underdressed.

2. Bring the below key supplies with you - Show you're prepared!

  • Copies of your Resume (I always bring extra just in case! Usually 10 - LOL)

  • Job Posting Printed or Saved on your Phone (This is just a nice-to-have for you to look over while you're waiting and refreshing yourself on why you're interviewing for this role.)

  • Portfolio or Example Work (if applicable - bring work you're proud of to show off!)

  • Padfolio/Notepad/Journal & Pen (Interviewers LOVE to see you taking notes.)

  • Sample Interviewer Questions Worksheet (Filled out! So, you can review while you're waiting to keep all your various answers centered in your mind)

  • Interviewee Questions PDF Printed -OR- Just write these out on your notepad (Reference these at the end of the interview when your interviewer asks the question they ALL ask, "Do you have any questions for me?" -AND- Take notes on their answers.)

3. Do Your Research!

  • Trust me, you will 100% be asked either why you want to work for this company or why you applied to this job. It always comes up, so be prepared! I like to research the company and find some fun facts. I also dig deep on the job posting description and jot down some questions in relation to the job responsibilities.

4. Be Confident! (But, not OVER confident.)

  • Even if you think you are the PERFECT fit for the role or that you basically already do the job, remember to not come off as cocky. No one likes being told what they want to find out for themselves. Regardless, confidence is super important when walking into an interview. Give a firm handshake and be yourself! If you find yourself fumbling, that's perfectly okay, just take a breath and remember what you've prepared.

5. Remember to be yourself and smile!

  • If you've made it through the door to an in-person interview, chances are you are definitely qualified and they have deemed you an actual candidate. So, show them who you are and why you deserve to be there.

6. Most importantly, remember that YOU are also interviewing THEM.

  • Make sure by the end of the interview that you are confident you WANT to work for this company. I feel this is often the most forgotten ground rule when I help friends prep for interviews. Everyone spends so much time prepping their experience and learning more about the company's they're interviewing for, when really you should ALSO be prepping great questions to find out if you want to work there.


Phone Interview Ground Rules


1. Be punctual and in a place with no distractions!

  • Even if you are on a lunch break from work, make sure to find a quiet place where you can concentrate. Pro Tip 🤣 - I used to take phone interviews in my car - LOL.

2. Do Your Research!

  • Trust me, you will 100% be asked either why you want to work for this company or why you applied to this job. It always comes up, so be prepared! I like to research the company and find some fun facts. I also dig deep on the job posting description and jot down some questions in relation to the job responsibilities.

3. Smile through the phone!

  • It can be tough to show your personality through the phone. So, remember to make sure to have a positive, friendly tone. Not sure how to do that? Well, literally just remind yourself to smile while answering questions. Smiling actually affects your vocal tone! Crazy right?! And, trust me! A smiling voice is infectious and a huge mood booster.

4. Be Yourself!

  • Don't come off so heavy with all your experience and resume information. If you have gotten to the interview, they already have your resume in hand. So, make sure you are elaborating and giving the interviewer more than basic Resume Quality Information. I always make sure to have some fun facts about my background and career handy for the most common Interview Question EVER, "Can you tell me more about yourself?"

4. Have all your prep work handy!

  • Resume Printed (Printed, because you're on the phone - lol! I like to keep this handy because I know the interviewer has it front and center. It's good to anticipate what they're going to ask you!)

  • Job Posting Printed (Again, on the phone! Reference this while you're waiting)

  • Padfolio/Notepad/Journal & Pen (Take notes! That way when you get that next interview, you're prepared with new questions and better answers!)

  • Sample Interviewer Questions Worksheet (Filled out! So, you can review while you're waiting to keep all your various answers centered in your mind)

  • Interviewee Questions PDF Printed -OR- Just write these out on your notepad (Reference these at the end of the interview when your interviewer asks the question they ALL ask, "Do you have any questions for me?" -AND- Take notes on their answers.)


Yay! We got those out of the way! I promise you once you keep all of the ground rules centric in your mind, interviewing will feel much less intimidating.


About those worksheets and PDFs I mentioned... you guessed it! More free downloadables! You can download both below!



Sample Interviewer Questions Worksheet

I always find that when I prep different types of scenarios and answers on paper, I interview much better. Most stories you are going to jot down can apply to many different questions if you tweak them a bit. This way you avoid getting stumped when a question you didn't anticipate comes up. Keep your experience and stories fresh in your mind so you can answer anything on the fly! In the below worksheet, I have put 10 of the top Interview Questions for you to answer. After you're done, keep it! It will become useful for lots of career related reasons, aka that end of the year self review - lol. Nothing worse than trying to think of your greatest accomplishment at the END of the year.


Interviewee Questions

In this PDF, I have listed for you my ALL-TIME favorite questions to ask during an interview. So, why not share them with you guys?! Always ask at least one question at the end of an interview. An interviewer is looking to gauge your interest and if you have no questions, it can come off as lazy.


Pro-Tip: Print this out and grab a highlighter! Pick your favorite questions and tailor them to sound more like you and your personality.


So, now that you have the downloadables, let's get back to discussing interviews. When you start walking into interviews as your genuine self, you'll realize what a breath of fresh air it is! If you have done your Interview Prep work and researched as much as you can, you can walk much more confidently into your next interview. I promise!


Next just for you, I've handpicked a few Interview Questions so we can dig deeper on how to answer them. Then, later, we'll discuss Interview follow up. 😊


1. Tell me more about yourself.

  • Alrighty, ladies and gents, this is not the time to quickly say every single thing that's already on your resume. The interviewer wants to get to know you and your career passions! I always take the time to go into all the different cities I've lived in and how my career path fits into that. I usually say something along the lines of "Through all my travels and roles, I've found that I'm most passionate about XYZ and I'm looking for a role at a company that can help me stretch my creative muscles." Basically, tell them what you are passionate about and how that fits into your career path. Don't be afraid to throw some fun facts in there too! Just make sure they know why you feel you are the best fit for this role.

2. Why do you want to work for this company?

  • This is 100% the most asked question I've ever got besides the classic "Tell me about yourself." So generic, yet an interviewer can tell a lot by your answer. FRIENDS, This is why we do research! If you have properly researched the company website, googled the company in the news, and read the full job description, you should be AMPED when you get this question - LOL. 🤣 Prove to them that you are not only interested in their company, but you have learned more about their company in efforts to get to know the role better.

3. Why do you want THIS job?

  • Another very common question. Well, think about it. If you honestly can't think of an answer easily, then it is most likely not the best fit. However, if you can think of something, great! We're on the right track! Anyway, outline a few things about why this role is a great fit for you. (ie. I have always enjoyed working with Customer Experience and Branding throughout my career and based on the job description I can tell this role is in my wheelhouse.) Then, close out with why you think you would like working for the company. (ie. I find the opportunity to work for XYZ company very exciting given how passionate they are about their brands and giving back to the community.)


Have any other questions that really stump you? Reach out and let me know! I'd be glad to help you out.


Congratulations, you've made it to the end! But! Before you go, let's take a look back and recap. If you follow these steps, you are sure to nail your next job interviews - You can take my word for it!


Step 1: Interview Prep

  • Research the Company & Review the Job Description

  • Complete the Sample Interviewer Question Worksheet & Refresh your mind of Big Wins

  • Reference the Interviewee Questions PDF & Make a List of your favorites

  • Gather all your Key Supplies! (^See above under the In-Person Interview Ground Rules section)

Step 2: Dress for the Job You Want

  • Pick out the perfect outfit early so you don't have to worry about it the night before.

Step 3: Be Yourself & remember to smile!

  • There is no time to waste being somebody else! And, remember, a smiling attitude is contagious.

Step 4: Be Confident, Not Cocky

  • IMPRESS them with your experience & EARN it with your personality! Make sure they know why you are the best fit.

Step 5: Follow Up

  • In the interview, make sure to gather information so you can follow up with your interviewers (ie. contact info)

  • After the interview, follow up with each interviewer with a quick email to thank them for their time. I like to add a little blurb about something I know we talked about in the interview. (Another reason why taking notes is a GREAT idea 😉)


Once you tackle these steps, you are on your way to finding the best fit possible in your career. One step at a time, you will find that dream job... you just have to remember to ask the right questions and to be yourself!


If you are looking for some extra help, you're in luck! Cali Creates has officially launched Cali Careers. A big part of Cali Careers is coaching. I've created FREE helpful tools with coaching in mind. I have also created a handful of free Resume Templates & Cover Letters.


Always remember I am here for you on your Career journey! Reach out with any questions you may have, I'm excited to do all I can for you on your journey to finding that dream job.


Now get out there and go NAIL that INTERVIEW.


Ready for the final part of the Dream Job Magic Series? Read more here to find out how you can Focus Your Path & Score Your Dream Job.


Until Next Time,


Jessie


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