In my department I have a lot of turn over; I have three interns. Each semester, the awesome, perfectly trained high achievers get a new class schedule, or another internship, and leave me. After a year of interviewing interns, my department also added a new coordinator role, and I found myself interviewing again.
Now three years out of school, I’ve interviewed a lot myself. Sitting on the other side of the desk you feel like you’re on stage, prepared to make those mistakes your college career counselor, (or protective parents), warned you about. And I made them. I put the wrong phone number on my resume, sent a resume with an address in another city, mispelled the interviewer’s name in a thank you, opened up my mouth and gushed about being shy, admitted to failures and insecurities and all manner of “OMG” interviewing moments.
What I wish I’d known in those interviews that I know now, is the interviewer wants to want you. The manager, director, VP, or coordinator looking forward to their new supervisory role, has a problem to solve: They need help . Their team is growing, maybe they’ve just landed a new client, or project or new responsibilities. Maybe a key employee left, or completely failed to meet expectations. It could have been last week, or months ago, and now, after months of interviews, they’re sitting in that chair thinking, “Could you be the one, who will solve my problem?”
By the time you’ve made it to the interview, someone already thinks you’re great. Maybe it was a friend who recommended you, an employee, or the H.R. director, but someone said you have the skills and talent necessary to solve the interviewer’s problem. All you have to do is confirm you are everything your resume says you are…so just don’t mess it up.
Not look at their website or other web presence!
Not read the job description!
Overshare personal details or opinions
Wear anything an American Idol contestant would wear on stage.
Be relateable – the interviewer wants to like you, so give them a reason to!
Be prepared with ideas – the interviewer wants to know what beyond your resume you have to offer.
Ask questions that show you care about doing a great job, not just what the job will give you.