Everyone is calling this year “The Great Resignation”. As jarring as the branding of that sounds, there is a massive opportunity here for you to, *swivels wine glass*, play the professional field a bit.
Now, there are a million bad blog posts on the internet about preparing for interviews. And they’d be super helpful if you were interviewing for a bank job in 1994. But as much as the fashion was on point, the 90s are over. So here are some non-traditional tips to help you feel prepared, and get that new job.
1. Prep like a standup
When you’re preparing for any interview, you know there are about 10 questions you’re going to get asked. Hiring managers are strapped for time, stressed, and let’s be honest, not hella creative. You won’t know everything they’re going to ask, but you know they’re going to bring out some of the classic interview questions.
Hiring managers are going to want to know your backstory, why you want that job, why that company, what you can bring to the role, etc. But for some reason, most folks still aren’t prepared for those questions when they come up. Which they will.
This is why we prepare for interviews like standup comedians.
Let me explain. When a standup prepares for a show, they don’t memorize an hour of jokes and stories. Who can’t do that?! Instead, they memorize twelve 5-minute stories/jokes called bits.
Your interview bits are your best answers to classic interview questions.
Write out your stock questions, and start by making notes on each of your answers. Include stories, and bring in data to back up your wins.
Now that you have some answers to test, try them out, get feedback— and practice again and again.
2. Bring receipts
While you’re building your bits, let’s bring out another truth of interviewing for tech roles: you need receipts. Any growth or product leader worth their salt will want to know the real impact you have had on past projects. The best way you can demonstrate your badassery is by giving them the hard numbers.
- Did you help your team achieve 15% month-over-month growth?
- How did your work specifically contribute?
- Did you grow the email list by 100% year over year?
3. Resolve objections
I am a conversion copywriter, and one thing any good sales writer knows is that you have to understand why a potential customer might say no. We call those reasons objection statements. Once we know why they’d say no, we can use that information to anticipate their objection and resolve it.
It’s the same for interviews.
I know, thinking about reasons why a hiring manager might reject you sucks— so I promise we won’t stay here long. But here’s the thing: there are reasons someone would say no, and the earlier you realize what they could be, the better you can make a case for why they might not matter as much as that manager thinks.
Take this example:
You’ve applied for a Growth Manager role at a great company. It says you need SEO experience on the job application, and your experience is SEO is, uh, nil. This is an objection that could come up when reviewing your candidacy. Instead of sweating and hoping they don’t ask about it, let’s prepare to resolve that objection.
Objection statement: You don’t have enough SEO experience for this role.
Resolve the objection: I’m newer to SEO, but I’ve been attending [insert workshop or course] and I’ve built a strong network of experts in the search community. I’d like to bring in [inexpensive tool] to do research on competitor backlinks so we can uncover some low-hanging fruit. I see opportunity [what you learned in your research] to improve [x company’s] search engine rank position from [research current rank].
See? Now you’ve intelligently busted that objection.
So to prepare for an interview, we’re going to:
- Prep like a standup
- Bring receipts
- And resolve their objections
Now that you’re headed into that interview prepared, you’re much more likely to come out with a new job (and, a new raise). I’ll just be over here wiping my eyes and cheering you on.
Sarah Stockdale is the Founder of Growclass, a growth marketing course and support system for your career. She is also the host of the podcast The Growth Effect, and a recovering startup executive.