How to prepare for your next interview
This post comes from ONE’s official in-house recruiter, William Sanders. For more interview insights and information, or for more info on jobs at ONE, make sure to follow him on Twitter @williamrecruits. Be sure to check out William’s pieces on how to hack your resume and how to craft an activist cover letter.
Congratulations! After applying to more than 100 positions, you’ve been granted an interview for your dream job. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. And it’s the moment I’m sure you have a lot of questions about.
Interviews are a chance for you to shine and really show an employer your best self — and in order to do that, you have to be prepared. I recall vividly the number of times I thought I was ready for an interview, only to be passed on for other candidates.
You have to prepare, and be prepared, for everything that comes your way. Here are a few tips you can use to nail your next interview.
Research the Organization
I’ll be frank and say that most of the preparing for the interview will come from researching the organization. Take some time to research the organization’s mission and its vision; skim through some of their reports and data, and look at some of the project and initiatives they are working on. You should also search their blog to get more insight into the organization’s priorities and messages to give you an idea of what they stand for.
Most importantly, take a moment to research the team. Look at the leadership of the organization on the website or on LinkedIn to get a better understanding of who they are and the type of work they’ve done. This will give you some good context and understanding of how the organization works and the people behind the magic.
There are countless articles and resources you can find on the internet to prepare responses to commonly asked interview questions. If you have a job description, you can take this a step further by preparing questions and answers based on the responsibilities and qualifications for the job.
For example, if you are interviewing for a Campaigns Assistant position and one of your tasks is to “maintain relationships with external vendors and stakeholders,” turn that into a potential question (“Can you tell me about a time where you successfully managed external relationships?”) and then brainstorm examples that relate to that type of experience. Create a cheat sheet or an outline and practice it to make sure that you have a general idea of how to respond to certain questions during the interview.
Plan Your Day Accordingly
This may sound silly but make certain that you know where the office is located before the big day. Take a moment to map your trip to your interview ahead and if you can, take a practice trip to ensure that you know where you are going.
On game day, eat a good breakfast before you go, and give yourself plenty of time to get there; You can’t predict accidents or delays and you don’t want that to get in the way of your interview success.
Make a Connection
You’re going to be asked a number of questions about your past experiences, your passion and interest in the role, and will be put to the test to see if you are a good fit for the role. When it’s your turn to ask questions, make sure you come prepared with a few questions about the job you’ll be doing. You want to make sure that you have as good of an understanding of the role as possible.
Beyond that, you should make a conscious effort to connect with your interviewer(s). Quiz them on what attracted them to the company and what they like, along with the challenges they’ve experienced in the role, as well within the company and profession if possible. By doing this, you’re certain to leave a lasting impression on your potential teammates.
Remember, the interview is your time to shine and really show your skills. Your awesome resume and cover letter have gotten you in the door, and now it’s time for you to do the rest. The number one thing you can do to make sure you that you knock it out of the park is to prepare ahead of time.
If you have questions, give me a follow and message me on Twitter @williamrecruits. Best of luck!