I've Been to Over 500 Interviews... and Here's What I've LearnedNovember 4, 2023 • 3 min read
My name is Alex Cloudstar, and I've been to over 500 interviews, and let me tell you, it's been quite a journey. Okay, maybe not exactly 500; I obviously didn't count them, but there could actually be more. Whether you're a fresh graduate seeking your first job or an experienced professional looking for a change, the interview process can be intimidating and exhausting. Over the years, I've learned some valuable lessons that can help you ace your interviews and increase your chances of landing that dream job.
Here are some tips I've gathered from my extensive experience that could make a significant difference in your next interview:
Show Your Passion with Personal Projects: One of the most crucial aspects of a successful interview is demonstrating your passion for the role and the industry. Employers want to see that you're not just interested in the job; you're genuinely enthusiastic about it. A great way to convey your passion is by sharing your personal projects or side hustles. These projects not only showcase your skills but also demonstrate your commitment to your field. If you know me, you probably know that I'm not a fan of CVs, so I usually share my GitHub for this matter.
Research the Company: Before you even step into the interview room (or log onto that video call), do your homework. Learn about the company's history, values, culture, recent achievements, and any industry-specific trends. Show that you've taken the time to understand what they do and how you can contribute to their success. When you can speak to your knowledge of the company, it demonstrates your genuine interest in the role. Or at least know the company's name; learn from my past mistakes, haha.
Prepare for Technical Questions: If your role involves technical aspects, be sure to brush up on your skills and knowledge. Search online for potential technical questions that might come up during the interview. This preparation will not only boost your confidence but also help you answer with precision and clarity. You don't want to be caught off guard when asked about something fundamental to the job. Also, you can search a fun fact to share about your preferred language, why not.
Ask Questions: Interviews should be a two-way street. Remember that you're also evaluating whether the company is the right fit for you. Ask thoughtful questions about the role, the team, the company's vision, and the challenges they face. Engaging in a genuine discussion rather than a one-sided monologue shows your interest and helps build a connection with the interviewer. If it feels right, don't be afraid to make a small joke. Maybe the person interviewing you had a tough day and will appreciate it. Remember, only if it feels right.
But here's a vital piece of advice: don't ignore red flags. If the job description is vague or inconsistent, take heed. Negative company reviews on platforms like Glassdoor can reveal concerning patterns. Unrealistic expectations, poor communication, high turnover, or subpar compensation should be red flags. I ignored some in the past, and it wasn't nice.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially when you've been to as many as I have. However, each interview is an opportunity to grow and learn. By following these tips and drawing from my experience, you can increase your chances of not just acing the interview but also finding a job that truly aligns with your interests and goals. So go ahead and put these strategies into practice, and remember, each interview is a step closer to your dream job.
See ya next week with more valuable info!