In both of my jobs I’ve had the ability to interview hundreds of college students and young professionals. What makes the best of the best and those I end up hiring stand out can be summed up in one word – anticipation.
If you know the name of your interviewer – Google them. Find them on the company’s staff page, read their bio, find them on LinkedIn, etc. Knowing your interviewer gives you a mental edge and can help you remain calm. It also gives you great information to ask questions at the end of your interview (and yes – you should always ask questions).
It should go without saying, but know as much as you can about the company or organization you’re interviewing with. I used to interview intern candidates who didn’t know what city our office was in! You should also know the names of the major players in the company. Our founder was on Fox News last month which generated a ton of interest in Praxis. When I talk to applicants who don’t remember his name or don’t remember the name of a staff member they had an informational call with, I’m not impressed.
If you do all your research and get the job, don’t stop anticipating! During training for my summer interns, I liked to read them the following quote:
I would tell them to only come to me with a problem if they had already thought of (and hopefully found) a solution. My favorite story of an intern exemplifying this mindset came at the very first event of summer 2015. The event was only a couple of hours away, so we all drove ourselves with a plan to arrive by noon. My photographer called me a little before then.
He explained that his car wouldn’t start that morning, so he Ubered to a car rental company and picked up a car for the weekend. He was going to be a little late due to the time it took to get the new car.
He didn’t call me when his car wouldn’t start asking what to do. He only called after he had solved the problem.
Anticipate problems. Find solutions. Solve them.