How To Prepare for an Interview

Did you just land an interview? Is it for an Event Manager, Hotel Manager or Restaurant Manager role? Regardless of the position, interviews tend to bring out different reactions in us all. For some, interviews are enjoyable. For others, interviews are anxiety ridden roller coaster rides full of sweaty palms, shaky legs, and stuttering sentences. If you fall into the second bucket - fear not. Here are some tried and true methods to avoid panic on the big day.

1. Do Your Research

Seriously, do detailed research on the company you’re interviewing for. If you’re interviewing for a role at Hilton, you should know that they are headquartered in Virginia. If you were lucky enough to get a list of your interviewers ahead of time, check out their LinkedIn’s and take note of their backgrounds, past companies, and current roles. Special bonus if you have the public setting on LinkedIn and your interviewer gets notified that you were looking at their profile. This general research will serve as a great basis if you get the dreaded “What do you know about us?” question.

Man researching company for interview

2. Connect to the Company

In doing your research, make sure to check out the company’s mission statement. Find something within it to relate to. If you’re interviewing at Boston Harbor Cruises where their mission statement centers around giving back to nonprofits in the community that benefit the harbor, connect it to the time you picked up trash on Earth Day at the beach. You don’t have to have dedicated your whole life to the causes supported by the company, but finding some common ground will help you answer the pesky “Why do you want to work here?” question that always seems to come up.

3. Dress Slightly More Professional Than You Think Necessary.

Dressing this way is more for your benefit than your interviewers. Studies show that when you are dressed in attire that makes you feel confident, you portray yourself more confidently. (Check out this Scientific American article for more info). Make sure to wear something that’s also comfortable - nothing’s worse than wearing dad’s old suit jacket only to realize halfway through the interview you smell like mothballs.

4. Always Have a Question for Your Interviewer

You are not a computer processor. There is most definitely something about this role or company that you do not know about. For an interviewer, responding no to “Do you have any questions for me?” translates to as having no interest in the role. Show that you will use this role to grow a learn. If nothing jumps out and inspires you as something to ask, questions centered around the company’s culture or the background of your interviewer (from that great LinkedIn research above) are always good fallbacks.

5. Bring Notes and Something to Write On

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many interviewees show up empty handed or with just a blank notebook. Regardless of the level of the role being interviewed for, preparation is always seen favorably by an interviewer. Added brownie points if you take the time to type up and print out your notes and questions from above.

6. Thank Your Interviewers

Not to sound like your grandmother, but nothing beats a thank you note. It also takes a maximum of ten minutes to type up a quick email. Try to capture something about the discussion you had with the interviewer within the body of the email to show your interest, and thank them for their time. This step may seem small, but in certain circumstances, it can make or break whether or not you get the job.

Remember to relax. Millions of people interview for roles every day. Think of it as more of a conversation and go into it hoping to learn as much about the company and the role as they learn about you. You’ve got this. Good luck!