As I said in my Instagram post the other day, I love interviews. I will get to that in a moment though. First a rundown of my week – ready. GO.
Monday: FHE. For those who don’t know, that is where I gather with several other young adults and we do something awesome each Monday. This semester I’m actually in charge of the group and planning the activities. SO this week we went with a couple other groups to a planetarium on BYU campus. The show was run by one of my friends and was all about the constellations in the southern hemisphere. For those here in Provo, I highly recommend it! Those students and teachers put a TON of work into those shows to make them interesting and cool. (There were a lot of Moana references in the one that we went to haha.)
Tuesday: Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets. I enjoy going to sporting events, even though I don’t really follow any teams. I found super cheap tickets monday night and decided to invite a friend of mine to drive up to the Vivint Arena in Downtown SLC. It was a super fun game and the Jazz won, which my friend was super excited about. Afterwards, even though it was pretty late I decided to go location scouting up big cottonwood canyon. This was really cool (actually it was pretty cold haha) because I haven’t been up that canyon in years and between the city lights and stars that I could see, I found some super epic views. Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my camera or bring extra batteries so no pics this week 😭.
Wednesday: Day off, morning with grandma and evening up at the SLC temple lights with some friends. If you haven’t been up there yet this year, I highly recommend it! There are over 800,000 lights! Here is a link to more fun facts about the Temple Square Christmas Lights.
Thursday-Friday: nothing super noteworthy happened (except for my interview, which I have outlined below👇🏽), I was just exhausted.
Saturday: After work I went to the Provo Christmas Market! It was super fun to experience all of the sights and sounds of Christmas walking around center street. They even had a little firework show! The highlight for me however was definitely the Aebleskivers. It is a Christmas tradition in my family to have these on Christmas morning. I’ve included a picture below 😍. They are Danish, golf ball sized, pancake balls.
Now what you have all been waiting for:
The experience of an interview, to me, is very exhilarating. If you have any suggestions or if I miss something, be sure to comment below for both myself and the other readers! I know that everyone can appreciate whatever advice you can give from your experiences!
I’m nervous, just like everyone else, but confident. That confidence comes from the level of preparation that I do beforehand because this is the most time-consuming part of the actual interview process. For my interview this week, for example, it was for a promotion with the same company that I am currently working for. So my preparation included applying as soon as the job posting goes live (this means that I have my resume, LinkedIn page, and reference letters updated and ready to go at any time) and doing an informational interview with my manager, analyzing my strengths and weaknesses (this is something that I recommend doing at least monthly with a superior or someone with more experience in your chosen field). Fortunately, my manager also has a lot of experience with a lot of the duties that I would be taking on in the position that I applied for, so I was also able to interview him about those duties. Otherwise, I recommend a second interview with someone who currently holds the position. I went into this interview with the job description in hand and questions prepared. In the moment I ask followup questions as well. I know that he will be asked about me and my work and by having these interviews with him, I am giving him material to work with. After my informational interviews, I make notes, right on the printed out job description, so that I can compile all of my thoughts. I should also clarify, I do all of this preparation right after applying for the position and before I have been asked to interview.
After I am asked to interview, I gather my materials in physical form. Usually, when you are invited to an interview, everyone who will be present at the interview is cc’d on the message but I like to be absolutely sure so that I can print off enough copies for everyone present, including myself. (That means that if there is a last-minute invite to the interview, there is a copy for them as well.) My materials include, but are not limited to (depending on the interview), my resume and each of my pertinent letters of recommendations (max 2 because you don’t want to turn in a book haha). The materials that you bring show your investment and dedication to the position so make sure its the best of your best. I review my notes about the position from my informational interview(s) and conduct additional informational interviews as needed (time permitting, now that I know who will be conducting the interview, I try to introduce myself to each of the participants as well).
My outfit: What you wear tells the interviewer the respect that you have for them and for the position. So I dress sharp and modern. I always wear a white shirt (personal preference) and tie. I will change-up the other items like my pants, shoes, socks and belt as needed. For this interview I wore my white shirt, floral slim tie, brown belt grey chinos, blue striped Happy socks and my Taft shoes that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
Entrance: Confident, solid hand shake, and take the invited seat.
Materials: Layed on the table, letting them know that I have come prepared and invested. If there is no table then I make sure that they are visible on my lap. If they are asked about or commented on, then I will hand them out but if not, I will distribute them at the end of the interview.
Posture: Straight-backed, sitting firmly in the chair and attentive. I like to talk with my hands (but that is just another personal preference) so I keep them in front of me, touching at the fingertips but absolutely not crossed. This position gives subconscious hints that I am in control and solid but also open, attentive and relaxed.
Answers: I like to followup questions with clarifying questions to make sure that I understand what is being asked. Unless it is a super straight forward question anyway. I keep an even tone which portrays confidence as well. Always have questions for the end of the interview about the position and the people who you would be working with.
My friend Taylor also gave me another pro tip as well that I LOVE. At the end of the interview, ask how you can improve as an interviewee. If they ask you to clarify, ask about how they felt about your preparation as well as how you portrayed yourself in the interview. Honestly, that is where most of this content for today has come from – because I like to interview, I interview a lot and ask that question a lot. I thrive on constructive criticism so in short, always take something away from an interview.
This is a tip that I got from a business writing class at BYUI, thank you cards.
Who: Give one to each person that you interviewed prior to the interview, your boss and any colleagues as well as the interviewees.
When: Also, do it before the decision has been made about the position. The interviewers with take it into consideration and your interviewees will be very impressed.
Content: Be personal and to the point. Give your cards some KIC (or Keep It Classy).
Then, with whatever happens, never complain.
After the results have been posted, ask for a follow-up interview if one wasn’t offered. Then you can ask what made the candidate chosen stand out. Now, move on. There will be another position, whether at the same company or another.
This is what I do to stand out.
Thank you for reading! I know today’s post was rather long and intense but hopefully something in here can help you to improve as an interviewee. Like I said before, if you have any suggestions for me or the other blog readers, be sure to comment those below!
Love you guys,