What you Need to Know Before a Tough Interview
It is that time of year…
Dance auditions are underway and new professional teams are being formed for the upcoming season. Cheering for an NFL team, hands down came with one of the most competitive audition processes I’ve ever encountered. Hundreds of women show up every year to tryout and there’s typically only 25–30 spots to make the team. Even after I made it my first year, I still had to go through the nerve-racking, gut wrenching and stressful audition week in hopes I would again see my number on the list to cheer for the following season.
During audition week, we would do agility testing (extreme workouts — I miss those workouts now), learn/perform a few different routines (half naked) for the Cheer Director and judges, and be interviewed by an exceptional panel of public figures. If you didn’t have an insider telling you how to prepare for this type of interview process, you were going in completely blind not knowing what to expect.
It occurred to me after I went through this specific interview process, no other interview I would face in the future would be as terrifying strenuous or stressful. I learned so much on how to prepare for other opportunities from that experience, including preparation for an interview, comfortable positioning my unique value and networking (talking to complete strangers) in a genuine manner.
So …What do you need to know before going into a tough interview?
1. With so much competition out there, stand out and know your value.
- What do you bring to the table (company)?
- Why should they hire you?
- Know your pitch and how to position yourself, check out my blog post on how to create your elevator pitch.
2. Understand and know the interview process. Multiple Interviews? Exams? Ride alongs? Agility tests?
- If you have a hard time stepping out of your comfort zone and going for something totally new and you get nervous with interviews… Download Get Out of Your Comfort zone (insert PDF link here)
3. Prepare for the interview — do you know someone who works there that can give you tips or the inside scoop on the culture?
- Search the web and find reviews on the company, leadership and culture.
- Use LinkedIn to check if you’re connected with anyone that works there or a contact that will provide a welcoming introduction for you.
4. Find out any information you can obtain about the hiring manager and what they are looking for.
- Search and review their professional profile and accolades.
5. Map out the location of your interview the day before:
- Confirm they have parking available during the time of your interview.
- Planning ahead for something that sounds so simple and easy will help alleviate any unnecessary stress the day of your interview. You don’t want to get stuck driving around looking for parking and show up late!
6. Confirm the day before, with the hiring manager or HR, that the interview is still scheduled.7. Know what the company is about and their background.8. Prepare a list of questions to ask (make sure it’s not too long or just one question).
- Think of questions to help decide if this position is a good fit.
9. Write down three confident affirmations prior to your interview.
- Creating confidence with your mind is 90% of the effort, followed by letting the outcome go.
- If you’re in a place of interviewing out of fear, shift your energy towards a positive experience with the interview. Affirmations and visualizing will help you shift mentally.
10. Just breathe… you got this, remember you’re not being interviewed half naked by judges.