Ah, the good ol’ job interview: a daunting, anxiety-inducing, possibly even fear-evoking prospect. Sure, we all know the importance of preparation, from company research to choosing the appropriate attire – but for all that planning, wouldn’t it be nice to get some clear insight and advice from an expert ahead of time?

Well, you’re in luck!

We sat down with Susan Levine, our company’s Founder, to discuss what she looks for in a candidate during their interview. With over three decades of recruiting experience under her belt, Susan is without a doubt someone who knows what she’s talking about. And some of her advice may surprise you!

Tip #1 – “Take your own job search seriously. Focus on what’s important and practical.”

If your dream is to be a CEO someday, but you only have two years of professional experience, it’s probably not wise to apply for that position just yet. And, while a high salary is obviously appealing, don’t apply for a role you’re not a great fit for just for the numbers and perks.

Susan tells us that in any job hunt, you have to “put your head down, work hard, and stay focused.” Taking the time to really think about what your next career move looks like and determining where you fit best within the industries you’re targeting will keep you in charge of your job hunt and help you manage your expectations.

Tip #2 – “Push through being uncomfortable…don’t be the best kept secret.”

While networking can be hard, pushing through that discomfort will help you tremendously in the long run. Being a “disruptor of yourself” is essential to your future success. Push through the awkwardness, make those professional contacts, and shake up your professional life a little to solidify your career path.

Tip #3 – “Do your homework on a company.”

The best interviewees, in Susan’s professional opinion, take the time to find some background information on the company they’re interviewing with. Learning their mission statement, reviewing work they’ve done, and understanding their values will arm you with information to help you stand out in the crowd, and also help you better understand how you’ll fit with the company.

Tip #4 – “Be someone who is proud of their resume.”

Every candidate has something unique to bring to the table, whether they have 10 years of experience under their belt, or a few college internships to show.

No matter how big or small, every piece of experience on your resume should point to accomplishments and qualities that you want to highlight in the interview. And, most importantly, be ready to show those off! By sticking to relevant content on your resume, you are primed to take charge of the interview, and show your potential new employer how dedicated you’ll be to your new position.

Tip #5 – “Someone who’s a good interviewer has a subtle confidence…never be cocky.”

When it comes to your demeanor during the interview, know what you’re worth, but always be humble. Having “subtle confidence” will show your interviewer that you are likable and appreciative, yet poised and self-assured.

Tip #6 – “If you don’t want a job, you shouldn’t take that job.”

Candidates sometimes feel compelled to take a job because their employment situation is less than ideal – maybe they’re desperate to get out of their current position, or quite possibly they just feel bad saying no to a recruiter. But none of these are good reasons to accept a job.

If you’re struggling to envision what the perfect position looks like, make yourself a list of all the things you want from a job, and use it to narrow down your search to find the best match.

Tip #7 – “Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.”

It’s tempting to exaggerate your accomplishments on your resume and in interviews, overcompensating to make it seem like you’re the best person for the job. However, when a company hires you, they expect you to produce and deliver on those promises. It’s no surprise that you’re way better off in the long run being honest about your experience, whatever that may be, so no surprises come up later on.

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There you have it – Susan’s most relevant nuggets of wisdom on how to be the best candidate you can be for the job. Refer back to this list whenever you’re stuck during a job hunt and let us know your favorite piece of advice in the comments below.

And, if you’re looking for open opportunities, check out some of the jobs posted here on our website!