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Ask Sherry: I landed a major interview, any advice?

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

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Well, not really. The main thing is that you got the interview, that’s the hardest part. CONGRATULATIONS!

What I think you could do is the following if you haven’t done so already:

Take time to know your resume inside and out

You know the weak spots. Depending on the job, you may be going for something more managerial, and you have little to no experience there.

Review all of your work experience, and “re-live” it, so it feels fresh in your head and you aren’t stammering during the interview trying to rack your brain about what happened. Try to REMEMBER what happened based on every line in your resume — that is what they are going off on.

Highlight it in your head as a weak spot, and figure out how to address it. How to strengthen it with other examples of leadership and management without actually being a manager.


Or maybe there was one project that was an absolute disaster and they ALL KNOW IT. Know how to answer hard questions you may get such as:

  • What happened?
  • What did you learn from that?
  • What are some things you could have done / will do now?

On many project-based resumes, a lot of questions will be things like:

  • What did you think went well on that?
  • What did you think could have been done better?

They may even ask you questions like:

  • What was your worst project experience and what did you learn from that?

Role Play the interview

Finagle someone to play the interviewer for you. Have them ask very difficult questions that are complex so that you have time to formulate the answer for if it comes up, and also ask them to give you feedback on how you reacted.

They can even ask general questions like: Tell me about this job here.

I find that role playing the interview, is like a soft practice at what it would be like, and the real thing will be less scarier.

Other good feedback would be if you recorded yourself and watched yourself (I know, cringe), to see how you come off to others.

You may think you’re being energetic but you come off as erratic instead, for whatever reason.

Are you twitching a lot? Stammering? Nervous? Learn how to take deep breaths to calm yourself down, and to project confidence even if you feel none.

Breathe and PAUSE

Always remember to PAUSE before answering. Take a breath before you do, formulate your answer carefully.

I like using the world “Well” in place of “Umm” which sounds less wishy-washy.

Example:

Well…. let me think about that. *pause* The worst project situation I had ever been in was ______ and this is what happened. At the end, this is what I took away from the experience: (A), (B), (C).

End answers with a positive/learning note

Remember at the end to try and always bring it back to something positive – what you learned, what you achieved, the net result at the end even if the whole fiasco was shaky from the start.

You need to end it on a positive note if you can, to show that in all sorts of adversity, you will triumph in some way, or at the very least, come away with a learned lesson to NOT repeat in the future.

The key would be to show resilience and determination to do your best.

Listen to some badass music before you go in

I am half an hour early to interviews. I sit in my car, or find a cafe nearby, and I listen to very uplifting, sometimes misogynistic music with an amazing beat that will make me feel incredible before I walk in with a confident stride.

My personal 5-song playlist?

Visualize crushing it

Lots of research, and pro athletes have accredited visualization to their success.

They breathe, they listen to great music before they go on to perform, and they visualize CRUSHING IT.

I do the same thing. I sit there after music (or before), and practice/play the interview in my head of how it will go, how charming I will be, hardworking, confident, competent, intelligent I will come off to them, and how the interviewer will respond so positively to me that they cannot help but make me a job offer.

All of this, generates a self-belief that that is what WILL happen, and you will subconsciously work towards that visual / goal of being an outstanding interviewee. Your whole body, demeanour, and expectation that it will be an incredible interview, will make it be the best that it can be.

Obviously if you get a grump on that day, nothing you can do will charm them out of their socks, but at least you tried.

I also try to be in a happy mood the day that I go in, rather than nervous.

I have a self-fulfilling belief that everyone likes me and I in turn like them, and it usually comes true because I act like that is what is the truth… so it becomes the truth, if that makes any sense.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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