Meenal Baid is Meytier’s Head of Talent, Recruiting and Operations. She’s passionate about helping people find their dream careers and has been a leader in human resources in technology and financial services for over a decade. Meenal is a passionate world traveler and global citizen.
Job searching is hard. There’s no denying it. So when you finally land an interview somewhere, you want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to put your best foot forward and get the job. Here are my top tips for preparing for an interview, nailing it, and following up after.
Do your research
The best thing you can do for yourself is to show up to your interview as prepared as possible. Start by researching the company. Go beyond just reading their “about us” page. Look through their social media, especially their LinkedIn. Take a look at company updates as well as what people who work at the company are posting about and sharing. Read any recent press that the company has gotten, and if they have a blog or podcast it’s worth investing some time to see what they’re sharing. All of this will allow you to really get a feel for the company, it’s culture, values, and priorities. It’ll help you feel prepared for the interview and like you’re in a good place to have thoughtful conversations about the business.
If you know who you’re interviewing with, do some research on them. Learn how long your interviewer(s) have been at the company and if/how their roles have evolved. Take a look at their LinkedIn, read any articles or updates they’ve shared. Look for a common thread with the interviewers, maybe you’ve recently read a book they posted about LinkedIn, maybe you’re from the same city, or attended a school they went to. Building personal connections and coming off as prepared and well-versed on the company will make a lasting impression on whomever you interview with.
Have your elevator pitch ready
You’ll likely be asked to tell the interviewer a bit about yourself, so make sure you have your elevator pitch ready. Consider the role you’re interviewing for, and what kind of experiences you have had in your career that would make you a strong candidate for this role. You don’t need to give the interviewer a year by year overview of your professional career. Try to go beyond your resume in your elevator pitch, rather than sharing which roles you’ve worked and where (information your interviewer likely has access to), come prepared with two or three success stories. Tell your interviewer about a project you took the lead on, an idea you saw to fruition, or a challenge you were able to overcome. Make a plan beforehand and practice it a few times so you don’t miss anything.
At the end of an interview when your interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, try not to look like a deer in the headlights. Come prepared with three or four thoughtful questions about the company and the role, you don’t need to ask them all. A thoughtful question is a great way to stand out in your interview and make an impression. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- What are your company’s goals for the next year? How will this role contribute?
- How has COVID-19 shaped your company and industry? Do you think this change will be long-lasting?
- What kind of person succeeds at this company?
- Is there anything that you wanted to know that I haven’t covered in our conversation?
So your interview went well, what do you do now?
Job seekers spend a lot of time perfecting their answers for interviews, but it’s often what you do after the interview that really sways whether or not you get the job. We can’t preach this enough, you need to send a thank you note. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I see that this has been the compelling differentiator when it comes to receiving an offer. After the interview, send a thoughtful thank you to those you interviewed with. Thank them for their time and for answering your questions. If you’re really interested in the role, make sure you tell them that. They likely have several very similar candidates to you and an email from you expressing your interest in the company and the role will go a long way in helping them make a decision. One candidate who recently found a job through Meytier was given an offer because the interviewers were so impressed by her thoughtful follow ups after she sent a thank you note, as well as a link to an article that was relevant to a conversation they had during the interview.
Lastly, remember that the job search process is a marathon, not a sprint. You might nail the interview, ask all the right questions, send your “thank yous” and still not get the job. It happens. It takes time to find the perfect role, so don’t get discouraged. Showing up prepared, relaxed, and informed can help you put your best foot forward and set you up for success. If not for this interview, then for the next one.