Prepare for an Interview by Looking at Yourself Like an Employer Would

By Chelsea Babin

If you’re on the market for a new job and have an interview lined up, take some time in advance to look at yourself like an employer would. If you look at these 5 facets of yourself, you’ll see the full picture that employers are seeing and, by putting yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to spot things that need to be adjusted, explained, or improved.

1. Resume: Before the interview process begins you have to send out a resume that represents yourself as a professional. While this sheet of paper may not hold much meaning for you, it is your true first impression during a job search. Look over your resume and put yourself in an employer’s shoes. Which areas would you have questions on? Those will probably be the questions you’re asked in an interview and you can prepare for those in advance. Does there seem to be a lack of information? Try to tell your work story in bullets under each relevant job so they’ll get a better idea of your accomplishments and abilities. Feel like you have something else essential to say that would pique an employer’s interest? Include a brief cover letter and put that information there.

2. Outfit and Appearance: When it’s time for the interview, you should select an outfit that you’re comfortable in. Then, take a look at yourself in the mirror. If you were an employer, would you hire yourself? What would an employer think of a person who looks like you? Understand the formality level of the company’s dress code in advance and dress accordingly, keeping the employer’s perspective and your comfort and confidence in mind to create the best appearance impression you could make.

3. Body Language: While you may feel a little silly practicing responses to common interview questions or asking questions yourself in front of a mirror or a camera, this could make all the difference. Why? Because you’ll see your body language from their perspective. You’ll see if you have a tendency to touch your face or hair that you were unaware of or if you sit with your arms crossed when you should put them on your lap or on the table in front of you so as not to look closed off. You could also ask a friend or family member to practice interview and pay attention to your body language, they may spot something you haven’t.

4. What You Say and How You Say It: Interviews should feel like a conversation but it’s important to keep in mind that employers are listening to what you say and how you say it and making assumptions about you based on those things. A positive tone of voice, expressing a clear interest in the position, and having anecdotes at the ready to prop up your relevant experience are all great ways to improve what you say and how you say it.

5. Social Media Profiles: The last thing you should look at before an interview or, even better, before you start your job search is your social media profiles. Look at them through the eyes of a potential employer, do you see any red flags? See what you need to clean up or adjust to come across as the talented, fun, professional you are across all platforms. This can often make or break your job search!

When you look at your social media profiles, what you say and how you say it, body language, outfit and appearance, and resume the way an employer would you may spot things you wouldn’t have before. Make the appropriate adjustments and expect a smoother, more successful job search because of the effort you made to put yourself in their shoes!