While landing an interview is exciting, it's also extremely nerve-wracking—especially if it's your first one. On this week's episode of "Adulthood Made Easy," host Sam Zabell talks to Kathleen Harris, VP Content Development at Levo, about how to nail any interview, and the best ways to answer the really tough questions. Here, a sampling of Harris' tips:
1. Do your research. Don't just research the company—do some digging to uncover some extra information about your interviewer. Read recent news articles about the company to see where they're looking to invest time and talent, and be prepared to discuss the ways in which you can contribute to that goal.
2. Prepare an elevator pitch. You will (inevitably) be asked to share your story. Prepare a concise, informative, and creative response that highlights your interests, related experience, and how both of those things align with the job you're interviewing for.
3. Always bring your resume. Even if you've emailed it ahead of time, it's always good practice to have multiple copies with you—just in case you're asked to meet with another team member.
4. Read body language. If your interviewer has a short attention span they'll shuffle items on the desk or their eyes will dart around the room. Once you notice those signals, shorten your answers. If they lean forward and seem engaged, feel free to embellish and give longer answers. Harris' rule of thumb: Keep answers to a maximum of three minutes.
5. Take your time. If you're asked a difficult question that causes you to falter, pause to think. "What you don't want to do is start rambling," says Harris. "Fill the space by saying, 'Wow, that's a really interesting question, I haven't been asked that before,' to buy yourself some time."
For more savvy strategies—and the secret to answering the hardest question, "What's your weakness?"—listen to the full episode below. And, if you're still feeling nervous, here are a few easy ways to calm your nerves. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!