Since I lost my full-time job back in September, I’ve had a handful of interviews. I don’t mean to brag, but I often am so intimidating to prospective employers I apply to that they often can’t even compose themselves enough to get back to me at all. Yeah, I’m that awesome.
I’ve been fine-tuning my interview skills over the last few months, and I must say that I’ve gotten really good at interviewing.
You know what that means…it’s time for another Renata’s Guide!
I hope these tips help you land the job of your dreams…
Gonna stand out ‘til you notice me
Use your resume to stand out. Make it as pretty and intricate as possible. If you can make it interactive like a quiz or a karaoke song or a fake biology class dissection, do it. Show them how interesting you are right off the bat. Add as many skills and past jobs as possible. Did you have a lemonade stand when you were 5? Entrepreneurial spirit. Did you babysit your younger siblings? Management skills. Did you have a paper route when you were in 2nd grade? Strong throwing arm. They want to know all your roles and all your skills, not just the recent and relevant ones!
While we’re on the topic of applications, never write cover letters. Those are scams.
Be aggressive! B-E aggressive!
Employers like to hire dominant and assertive personality types. Show up to the interview with all of the belongings and knick-knacks that you will keep on your desk when you are hired there. Act as if you’re moving into your new desk that very day. Even bolder, just start setting your stuff up in the interviewer’s office. You’ll be taking it over, soon. Might as well stake your claim now.
What’s wrong with being comfy-dent?
How can you get this confidence, you may ask? Wear your favorite outfit. Make sure that you strike the right balance between cozy and professional. It’s hard to be confident when you’re not comfortable. Especially if you’re over Zoom, you have the opportunity to be as comfortable (and confident) as possible. Remember, you only need to look professional from the chest up. Wear your sexiest crop top with your comfiest sweatpants. Or better yet, no pants at all! Who needs pants, really?
Companies want to hire people with diverse skills. Make sure you slip all of your fun skills and interesting anecdotes into the interview. Tell them about how you can talk to snakes! Or that you’re a Jell-O wrestler in your spare time! Which role do you play in escape rooms or trivia nights? Do you speak only Spanish when drunk? Highlight the skills that make you uniquely you.
Everyone feels more connected with people they relate to. If the interviewer has a picture of them with someone on their wall, say that you met them, too! Whether it’s a celebrity or a politician or their second cousin twice removed, let them know that you share their interests. If they have a degree from a school hanging on their wall, say you went there, too. Your favorite place on campus was Buchanan Hall. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the buildings. Every campus has a Buchanan Hall.
You got it, bud
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork to make yourself seem more relatable, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Upon meeting all of the interviewers, give them all nicknames. Only refer to them as those nicknames for the rest of the interview. Now you’re all best friends! How can they not give the job to their best friend?!
Plus, if you give everyone nicknames, you won’t have to remember anyone’s actual names. Win-win.
Self-awareness is your most important asset
When they ask about your experiences, don’t stick to only your professional and scholastic experiences. Tell them all about your childhood traumas. Did your sister steal your favorite toy? Did your first grade teacher give you your first C grade? Did you fall down a well and have to live in it for 3 years? Make sure you tell them all about it and explain exactly how it has caused all of your idiosyncrasies. This shows that you have self-awareness, one of the most important qualities in an employee.
Another quality that can set you apart (especially if you’re me or Editor Josh) is having a great memory. When you’re learning a bunch of new processes, you’ll need to remember exactly how to do everything or else you can mess everything up and lose them a bunch of money. They don’t want that! Show off your good memory by reciting your favorite movie verbatim. They will ask you to stop.
THIS IS A TEST.
DO NOT STOP.
You’ve heard of this golden rule: always ask questions at the end of the interview. You should go into every interview with several prepared questions, but also ask questions that you could only have come up with in the interview room so they know you’re thoughtful and paying attention.
“What’s the culture like here?”
“Does this look infected to you?”
“Did you get your shoes at Target?”
“What is your managerial style?”
“Is that a tattoo of spaghetti?”
All excellent and important questions that can help you learn more and see if the company is a good fit for you. Remember, they’re not just choosing you. You are choosing them, too.
What can I say except you’re welcome?
Always always send a thank you note. It’s important to thank interviewers for the time they took to interview you, the patience they had as you recited all 90 minutes of Shrek, and their lunch that you took out of the fridge (did I mention that? Yeah, eat their lunch…that helps with both the closeness and the dominance angle. We call it a double whammy).
Craft a nice thank you note with as many specifics from the interview as you can list. Carpet color, wallpaper pattern, what kind of sandwich they like to eat (because, again, you ate their lunch as a power move. Respect.), add anything and everything to that thank you note.
Only the best candidates send memes in their thank you notes. Bonus points if it’s the Willy Wonka meme.
I hope that these tips help you land the job of your dreams. Just follow each of these points very carefully, and I can almost guarantee you’ll land the perfect job.*
Now, I shall take my own advice, and give you this lovely THANK YOU!
*My guarantees are useless, don’t believe this.
**Yeah, I know the meme has a spelling error in it, I’m not thrilled about it. Do NOT send a thank you note that has a meme with a misspelling. That is not professional.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio