No matter where you may be in your career — happy or unhappy in your current position, jumping back in, or just starting out, interviews are intimidating. The best way to ease the stress is being prepared for an interview that could lead to your dream job.
How to Prepare
The first step is research. Discover everything you can about the company you’re interviewing with. Start with its website, read their mission statement, pay attention to how they present themselves, their work, and their employees. Google news articles about them. Search your local news and business news sites.
Spend time on LinkedIn, figure out who’s in the department you’ll be working in, and who might be the hiring manager. Their backgrounds, and how long they’ve been with the organization, can give you clues as to how you’ll fit.
Company size may be important to you — you may be looking for a lean and scrappy start-up or a more established and settled organization, or something in between.
As you research, jot down any questions you may have about working at the company.
If you’re interviewing for a HubSpot partner or customer, brush up on your HubSpot Academy certifications too! Even if you don’t land the position you’ve added valuable knowledge and skills. If you don’t have enough time to get the certifications, review relevant blogs and tutorials to sharpen your focus.
The Day Before
For an in-person or video interview, select your clothing, something that’s in good shape, clean, and neat. Iron or steam any wrinkles out, and hang or fold everything so it’s ready to go tomorrow.
For an in-person interview, double-check your route — whether driving or using public transport, figure out your travel time, and build in extra to take delays into account while still getting your to your destination early.
While you’re used to Zoom meetings and get-togethers by now, add more polish for your interview. Find a quiet spot, with a good background and lighting. The background should be attractive, uncluttered, and professional. People will look for clues as to who you really are in your decor. If you want more help, the New York Times has some tips.
The Day Of
In remote interviews, entering the virtual meeting room at least five minutes before the meeting’s start can leave a long-lasting impression, showing that you’re punctual, care about the interview, and serious about wanting to land this position.
Have a copy of your resume with you, a copy of the job description, and those questions you noted during your research. Ask questions during the interview to gain more information about the role, and what success will look like. Avoid asking about benefits and vacation policies during your initial meeting.
Whether your interview is remote or in-person, go into it confidently, and with high energy. Be excited, enthusiastic, and engaged — this will help you stand out and leave a positive impression on the interviewers. Showing your personality can make a world of difference in the eyes of interviewers, allowing them to get to know you.
The Day After
Send a thank-you email to everyone you talked to. It’s the easiest way to leave a great impression. According to a survey by Accountemps, 80 percent of hiring managers find a thank-you note a helpful piece of the puzzle when figuring out who to move forward in the process. Another survey, by CareerBuilder, shows 57 percent of job seekers don’t send one.
Keep the note short, thanking them for their time, and referencing something you discussed in your interview.
Get Ahead of the Game
Of course, we always recommend having a recruiter in your corner. You never know when you’ll need one, and we can help you build your career. Having that relationship with a recruiter can give you a head start with a company they’ve worked with before. They’ll help you prepare for the interview because they understand and can explain the company’s culture to you.
A great recruiter can introduce you to your dream job — and it may be something that never even comes up on a job board.
Good luck with your interview, you’re going to do great!