How to Prepare for a Job Interview: A Masterclass in Adulting

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Hey there, career-hungry go-getters and bored-afternoon scrollers! Today, we’re diving into the depths of the highly ceremonial and incredibly nerve-wracking practice known as the “job interview.” That’s right, folks — this is your one-way ticket to being gainfully employed or to securing bragging rights at your next family dinner. It’s about time we tackle this rite of passage with the seriousness it deserves.

Step 1: Dress to Depress, or Not

First things first: clothing. Now, you might think you need to look professional, crisp, and clean for your job interview. Pfft, who needs that? If you’re truly aiming for a memorable impression, go ahead and wear that “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt and mismatched socks. Keep them guessing, right?

But hey, if you are actually aiming for that job — yeah, maybe you should consider at least a modest ensemble. When I say “modest,” I don’t mean a nun’s habit, but something that suggests you know the difference between a conference room and a beach party.

Step 2: The Resumé — Your Life on a Platter

A CV or resumé is a way of putting your whole life story on a piece of paper, while inevitably realizing that your life story isn’t as thrilling as you thought. Ah, the sweet humbling aroma of reality.

You could leave in that you were a master of ‘beer pong’ in college, or that you’ve achieved Level 99 in some video game. But chances are, your interviewer might not appreciate these incredible talents. So, my reluctant advice? Stick to the boring stuff: experience, skills, education, and for the love of all things corporate, make sure you spellcheck. Because nothing says ‘Hire me!’ like your resumé screaming, “I have atetnion to detal.”

Read more on “How to Write a Resume“.

Step 3: Research the Company, or Make Wild Guesses, Your Call

Look, you could totally walk into the interview room knowing nothing about the company, and maybe even ask, “So what do you guys actually do here?” But then again, you could also try to become a professional skydiver without a parachute.

If you want to succeed, a quick Google search won’t hurt. At least know the CEO’s name, what the company does, and maybe some recent news about them. Trust me, it’s better to come off as a well-prepared stalker than an oblivious wanderer.

Step 4: Perfect the Fine Art of Pretending to Be Normal

Once you’ve dressed up in your best “hire-me” outfit and slapped on a fake smile, you’re ready to get in the ring. But what about those pesky questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Simple! Say that you’re a people person, you thrive in dynamic environments, and in five years, you see yourself as the glorious ruler of the Seven Kingdoms — or maybe just something about professional growth. Whichever seems more realistic.

Step 5: Lie, Cheat, and Steal… Just Kidding, Don’t Do That

Let’s be clear: dishonesty isn’t cool. Sure, claiming you’re proficient in ancient Sumerian may get a laugh or a puzzled look, but it won’t help you when they actually need someone who knows ancient Sumerian. Stick to what you know and what you can do. The point of an interview is for them to get to know the real you, even if the real you is sweating like a Christmas turkey.

Step 6: Master the Art of Virtual Interviews

Ah, the virtual interview. Perfect for when you want the comfort of your own home but still have the inescapable gaze of a stranger judging your professional worth. If your interview is virtual, make sure your Wi-Fi isn’t operating at a glacial pace. And please, let’s avoid the ‘Business up top, pajamas down below’ cliché. Cameras fall, people. Cameras. Fall.

Also, curate your background. Nothing says, “I’m not serious” like a wall plastered with your favorite heavy metal band posters. Unless you’re interviewing for the role of ‘Heavy Metal Band Manager,’ maybe opt for something more neutral.

Step 7: Ask Questions, But Not Like, Weird Questions

When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for us?” this is not the time to inquire about the office’s stance on “Bring Your Pet Tarantula to Work Day.” Ask about team dynamics, company culture, or how success is measured in the role you’re applying for. This shows you care about more than just the paycheck, even if you’re mostly just curious about when payday rolls around.

Step 8: Be Yourself, Unless ‘Yourself’ is a Villain from a James Bond Movie

Yes, yes, I know — being yourself is about as cliché as advice gets. But hey, if ‘yourself’ is a no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is sort of person, maybe dial it down to a ‘yourself-lite’ for the interview. You want to be memorable, but not as that person who tried to high-five everyone in the room during a pandemic.

Step 9: Close the Deal Like You’re on Shark Tank

As the interview wraps up, you’ve got one last chance to shine brighter than a 100-watt light bulb. Thank the interviewer for their time, because you’re polite like that. But also restate why you’re the best thing to happen to this company since the invention of office snacks. Don’t be shy — this is your time to shine or, at the very least, flicker convincingly.

Step 10: Post-Interview: The Waiting Game (and Not the Fun Kind)

Once the interview is over, you’ll have plenty of time to overanalyze every single thing you said while waiting to hear back. Fun, right? Don’t. Instead, write a thank-you email to remind them how amazing you are and to show you have this thing called ‘manners.’

Finally, if you don’t get the job, don’t sweat it. Jobs are like buses; if you miss one, another will eventually come, albeit late and probably not going where you expected. But hey, it’s all about the journey, or some other inspirational nonsense.

And there you have it, my little career warriors — a definitive guide to preparing for a job interview. If you follow these steps and still don’t get the job, well, at least you’ve honed your skills in sarcasm, wit, and cynicism, and that’s something no one can take away from you. Now go forth, do the adulting thing, and may the odds be ever in your favor.