One of my favorite movies of all time is the comedy Hitch. While the movie centers around a date-doctor (Hitch) and his tale of trial and error, there’s a lot you can takeaway and apply to other areas of your life, including the interview process. I treat interviews the same way that Hitch advises his clients to treat their first dates, because in actuality, an interview is much like a date (but with a little more riding on the line than a kiss goodnight).
In the movie, one of Hitch’s tips is this,
“When you’re wondering what to say or how you look, just remember, she’s already out with you. That means she said yes when she could have said no. That means she made a plan when she could have just blown you off. So that means it’s no longer your job to make her like you. It’s your job not to mess it up.”
This is very relatable to the beginning of the interview process. Your interviewer has already seen numerous resumes and had tons of phone calls and emails from candidates who want to be in the position you’re in. The bottom line is that you’ve already made an impact worthy enough of their time. And now it’s your job “not to mess it up.”
To complement Hitch’s advice, here’s some of my own tips to add to the mix:
- Once you’ve established yourself as a stand-out candidate, it’s important to stay a stand-out candidate. Make memorable connections, because chances are the position will be in discussion for weeks. Come to an interview with a back pocket full of quick facts about the company or position you’re applying for — this way you can show that you’ve done your research.
- Remember to smile and be friendly. Think about it as a date. Imagine if you went on a date and didn’t smile once — things probably wouldn’t go too well. Although you may be bringing your best work to the table, no one wants to spend a large amount of time with someone who isn’t friendly. The same applies to the workplace.
- Finally, come to the interview with well thought out and personal questions. Interviewers are more likely to remember a personal, self-reflecting answer than anything else. So when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, that is not the time for a blank stare. It’s your opportunity to ask many thoughtful questions and put them in the hot seat. A good question leaves the interviewer pondering for a few moments and makes them reach into their memory bank to find a good response. I like to ask questions that bring them back to when they were an intern or in an entry level position. Bringing both parties to a similar level will help build a rapport.
Remember that you are already liked and now is your chance to improve on that impression. Calm your nerves, do your research and speak to what you can bring to the table. Don’t leave it up to the interviewer to make the distinction of why you deserve the position over anyone else. Tell and show them why you deserve it. The opportunity has already been placed in front of you, all you have to do is grab it!
Evan Silvers is currently an intern on the Technology team at Weber Shandwick Seattle. You can find out more about Evan on LinkedIn.
Image courtesy of Kelly Schott.