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8 Steps for a Successful Interview

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You’ve made it this far. The countless hours of poring over your résumé, submitting job applications, meeting with recruiters, and making connections has finally paid off. You’re ready for the interview!

But wait—are you really?

There’s so much to consider from types of interviews (over the phone, creative, team interviews) to what to do after you walk out the interviewer’s door. This is the event you don’t want to leave to chance.

Don’t fret. (There will be time for that later.) We’ve collected years of advice from our recruiters, clients, and even a Webby Award winner or two, to help you make the best of your face-to-face time—even if it’s done over FaceTime.

Be sure to bookmark this page, as we’ll continue to update it with new interview posts!


1. Prepare for the Interview Questions

Interviewers always have their favorite questions and sometimes they borrow from each other. Which makes it easier for you to prepare!

You’ll definitely want to tackle how you’ll answer “What is Your Biggest Weakness?” and “Tell me about your biggest achievement.”  They’re asked so often they’ve become a running joke among recruiters and interviewees alike.

You can get a sense of some of the questions we ask by checking out 5 Top Recruiters’ Favorite Interview Questions, 14 Best Interview Questions for Creatives, and 10 Must-Ask Questions for Designers.

2. Be Your Best Self

Part of nailing an interview is being the best version of yourself. Like a jaw dropping magic trick, it should look easy and leave your audience in awe. (Well, you know what we mean.) But as any magician knows, pulling that off takes a lot of practice.

That’s exactly why we’re encouraging you to take a deep breath and read 8 Steps to Take the Stress out of Interviewing and How to Calm Your Pre-Job Interview Jitters.

If you’re into lists, often forget what you had for lunch yesterday, or just bought a sweet new pen, you should absolutely Make A Prep Checklist for Your Next Interview.

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3. Avoid Making Mistakes in Your Interview

You’re going to have a few, “Dang, what I should have said” moments, but planning for common mistakes can help you steer clear of making errors during your interview.

There might be mistakes you don’t even know you’re making, which is why we’re here for you.

Matt Murphy, the ECD of 72andSunny gave us a quite a few great Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid. ALL BOLD. ALL CAPS. The guy is passionate about his interviewing advice, we’ve gotta say.

Be sure to also check out 8 Ways You’re Telling the Interviewer You Don’t Want the Job and The Reason You’re Not Nailing Interviews Anymore (And 3 Ways To Fix It).

And yes, the Webbys made these videos to be funny, but you can still learn from these Really Bad Answers to Interview Questions.

4. Questions to Ask in an Interview

Speaking of mistakes, ask any hiring manager or recruiter and they’ll tell you that you’re making a huge one if you don’t come to the interview with questions about the company, team, or culture.

A few ones you might consider asking include:

  • What are some exciting upcoming projects?
  • What are the company statistics regarding employee satisfaction and turnover?
  • Can you describe the company culture?
  • What do you like most/least about working here?
  • What are you hoping to find in your next hire?
  • What is typically the biggest challenge for a new employee?
  • How does the company encourage employee growth?

Need more? We’ve got more ideas to get your brain churning in our post 7 Tips on How to Interview Better.

5. Handling Creative Interviews

The days of the large format old school portfolios may be gone, but it’s a fact: creative interviews are incredibly specialized. Getting guidance isn’t a simple Google search.

That’s why we went right to the source to help rock your next creative interview. Check out advice from Mike Reid, Head of Design at Havas Worldwide and Will Aslett, Lead Digital Creative at The Good Agency.

If you’re a creative, there’s an 87% (or so) chance an interviewer will ask this loaded question, What Do You Think of Our Brand?”  Prepare for it!

6. Get Inside Your Interviewer’s Mind

We asked three top recruiters to answer this question, “What do you wish you could tell every candidate before an interview?” The result was 10 Things Your Interviewer Wants You to Know. Find out what the person behind the desk is really thinking.

Sometimes they may be thinking, “Not a culture fit,” when you actually are. Make sure your soft skills aren’t putting the interviewer off by reading our blog post by Pippa Holland, the Business Director at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa: How to Match Your Skills and Personality to a Job.

And yes, you can totally control the interview, should you want to. (OK, direct it a bit.) Australian job hunting expert Sputnik gives you 6 Questions to Ensure a “Yes” at Your Next Interview.

7. How to Handle Video and Phone Interviews

Your preliminary interviews may not actually be in person. Maybe one of the hiring managers is Skyping from his yacht in the Turks and Caicos (could happen).

Regardless, you’ll need to prepare differently for these interviews. And yes, you must change out of your pajamas. For your on camera self, check out 5 Easy Tips for Nailing a Video Interview.  And for phone interview tips, How to Score on a Telephone Interview.

8. What to do after you interview (AKA It’s Not Over Yet!)

OK, you’ve just rocked it. Received your parking validation (if needed) and are headed out the door. You’re through!

Not so fast.

You’ll need to learn all about The 1 Mile Rule: What NOT To Do After Your Interview. Definitely heed its warning.

Also, mom was right. You need to Send a Thank You Letter for Interviewing.

Whew! Are you prepared yet?

Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep!

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