We all need jobs, though, and sometimes it involves convincing other people we deserve them. There's a lot we can just trust our instincts on, but we've pulled together some pointers for you: The Dos and Don'ts of Interviewing.
Do: Be yourself.
Don't: Overdo it.
When it comes to interview attire, particularly for a creative position, the hirer wants to see a glimpse of a personality. Yes, your work speaks volumes about the kind of person you are, but ultimately they're hiring a human being who they spend eight hours with every day (at the very least). Dress the way you'd normally dress, just take it one or two steps closer to "professional." You should look like you put in the effort but not like you borrowed your mom's pantsuit.
Do: Prepare your portfolio.
Don't: Save it until the night before.
You've seen exhausted friends' faces. You know what tired looks like, and it isn't pretty. Sleep the night before, and get your portfolio prepped dayyyys ahead of time. Your brain will thank you for it, and this means no impulsive last minute decisions.
Do: Know a bit about the company.
Don't: Stalk them.
Again, these are humans you'll be working with. They'll like that you noticed they're involved in an after-school program for kids in their neighborhood but will be genuinely creeped out if you mention that you know the CEO's favorite drink. Just because it was on Instagram doesn't mean you can bring it up.
Do: Loosen up before the interview.
Don't: Have a quick smoke.
Nervousness is so easily detected and no matter how confident of a person you are, you'll get the jitters before a big interview. Take a few minutes, breathe deeply several times, tell yourself that you've prepared and are ready for the interview– those are all acceptable methods of easing oneself into a stressful situation. But whatever you do, don't fall back on your normal vices. A quick cigarette or a beer to take the edge off before an interview are major no-no's. Imagine what you'd think if your first thought when meeting a job candidate was "they smell like [booze or smoke]." Ick.
Do: Follow up and stay connected.
Don't: Wait too long!
An email thanking the interviewer for their time, reinforcing your interest in the position, and reminding them that you're a polite, lovely person is a good thing. A LinkedIn request is... iffy. In theory, a LinkedIn request is perfectly appropriate, but a too-speedy request can be a bit pushy to some. If you think the interview is going well, don't hesitate to ask at the end if it would be alright to connect on LinkedIn. Candidates are often kept in mind for future positions, and when you send the LinkedIn connection request, be sure to remind them who you are and thank them for meeting with you to discuss the position. Then they're free to reject or accept, and you don't catch them off guard with an out-of-the-blue request.
These are some basic suggestions for what to do and avoid when it comes to interviewing– the rules change every year it seems!