I love being a hiring manager at Metric Theory because it allows me to meet dozens of young professionals eager to start their career in digital marketing. Some of my favorite interviews, and those that have led to job offers, are with candidates whose authenticity shines through. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Interviewing for a job can be scary. I remember my experience interviewing for Metric Theory just 6 years ago- sweating in a Starbucks, 60 minutes early, and feeling nervous and eager to impress. For today’s job seekers, they have the added challenge of job searching during a pandemic, navigating the world of video interviews.

So how do you share your true self in an interview in the face of those nerves? I have a few tips to get you started:

1) Take 3 Deep Breaths and Strike a Pose

A mentor once told me that in the face of anything scary, take 3 deep breaths. I always start here. Before a big interview, find what works for you to shake the nerves. I asked some of my colleagues for recommendations on how they prep for important meetings:

  • “I power pose in front of the mirror”
  • “I hydrate, and think of what I’m excited about vs. what I’m nervous about”
  • “Go for a walk around the block to clear my head”
  • “Listen to my favorite songs to hype me up”
  • “DANCE”

2) Don’t Try to Impress, Try to Connect

If you find yourself in a video or in-person interview, you’ve likely met the basic qualifications for the role. Late-stage interviews are about finding out if a candidate is the best fit for the company, and if the company is the best fit for the candidate. The best way to figure this out is for both parties to bring their authentic selves to the table. As an interviewer, I’m always prepared to address candidate questions about challenges at Metric Theory or within our industry just as much as I’m prepared to rave about why I absolutely love this company. I look for the same honesty from candidates.

So what does this look like? Find opportunities to speak about your passions, what motivates you, and what you’re working on for personal and professional development. Ask specific questions about the company values, priorities, and upcoming challenges to ensure that you can be aligned with those. Avoid giving the answers you think your interviewers want to hear – give the answers that ring true to you!

3) Frame Failure in Vulnerability, Resilience, and Growth

Failure is the most human experience that I can think of. Without failure, there’s no room for growth. When an interviewer asks you about your greatest weakness or about a time that you failed – be honest! Don’t be afraid to show some vulnerability and speak to those experiences you might hide in the shadows. Instead, own your mistakes or shortcomings and share how you’re working through them.

If a candidate has a hard time thinking of a weakness or a time they failed, that indicates to me that they have not taken the time to reflect on their life experiences. Self-awareness in the name of personal growth is a significant indicator for how that individual will own their professional development. And please, please don’t use a “strength” as your weakness. For questions on that, refer back to “Don’t Try to Impress, Try to Connect.”

What truly impresses me is when a candidate tells a story about failure, and then goes on to tell me how they overcame that challenge. Flex your resilience in how you picked yourself back up and dusted yourself off. Shine a light on the growth you’ve made since then.

4) Always Ask for the Job

At the end of the day, don’t discount the impact of asking for the job. At the end of your interview, always send some gratitude to your interviewers for their time and let them know (assuming it’s true) how excited you are about the prospect of working at their company.

At Metric Theory, we’re looking for candidates who have the potential to be or already are incredible digital marketers AND who are willing to bring their authentic selves to the workplace. If you fit the bill, check out our job openings here – we look forward to hearing from you!