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Are you prepared yet? Well, our Gender Equity Advocates still have some advice for you. Since they're employers--and employees--and they've all been hired themselves after interviewing, we're thrilled to solicit their continued wisdom in this series. Read on for tips 10-12 in our series.

10. Leverage your professional network (yes, that includes LinkedIn). A healthy network matters in our job searches, especially the looser connections that you might find via LinkedIn that will enable you to connect to introductions that matter. 500+ connections may seem like a lot–and you may not know these connections well, but this is a good place to begin to show prospective employers that you are well connected in your field and beyond. Start by looking at your current connections and see if you know their connections, or if their connections work in a similar industry. Consider how you might want to connect with folks who may be useful in helping you learn about a particular industry, organization or role, and how you might be in touch with them using your current connections.

11. Comment away! Spend some time on LinkedIn looking at other people’s posts and commenting on them. See what it is that your connections are up to, and learn from them. Wish them congratulations on articles posted (and read them) and new positions or work anniversaries.Your engagement in this space adds to your value to others, and makes your presence here visible to prospective employers, too.

12. Be specific. In your interview dialogue, give concrete examples of your work or elements of your professional portfolio that help paint a visual image for your interviewer. Use data to inform the story you are telling, and engage your heart to activate your listeners’ emotion. Consider what is visually appealing when you tell stories about your work, and how you speak, and think about using language and storytelling about the very best ways you can show up and be specific at work. Statistics are excellent to include to back up your story, to add to your specifics. Don’t feel the need to crush them with numbers, but use them where you can.


Here's the third installation in our series of posts designed to help folks prepare effectively for interviews. Keep in mind our equity orientation--for candidates, and for candidates to model that same equity approach for their prospective employers. Read on and learn with us.

7. Plan ahead. How will you get to the interview? How long will it take, how will you go? Consider planning out your transportation in order to determine what detours might be necessary. This way, you will embrace being on time, and be respectful of your interviewer and their time, as well. Of course, all this preparation may feel a bit silly, but an obstacle on the way may create a bottleneck in your plans that will limit your time to shine with your prospective employer. And if it’s a virtual interview, consider your location, any background noise or distractions, and make sure you have good lighting.

8. Clarify the timeline. This is an opportunity to show that you’re noticing how they’ve designed their process, and that you’re holding them accountable for their adherence to that timeline. Consider asking them to share more about their timeline, and if there are any obstacles that may interfere. By asking, you are clarifying that you expect to hear from them regularly, that you do expect them to be clear and communicative and responsible, and that you don’t expect them to ghost you. If they are not able to structure an effective, responsible timeline, or adhere to deadlines that they have established, or they ghost you, that is an important indicator that they are not looking at their own process with an equity lens or as compassionate, thoughtful employers.

9. Use LinkedIn to your full advantage. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated, accurate, looks good and reads like a resume. Many of us forget how we look to others in this space: attempt to read it with an eye toward how a prospective employer might view your profile. Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn all the time to search for candidates with the required skills and experience set, so even if it’s not useful for this interview, it will certainly be useful in the future. Consider how a prospective employer may use LinkedIn to view your work with an equity lens, by thinking about what is present and what might be missing in your experience and potential in the role. Tailor your profile toward that potential, not just your experience.

Our second series of questions for job seekers helps you prepare in advance. Consider what you can do in preparation for your interview that will help the interview to both go smoothly and to help you to present your best self. Read on for tips 4-6!

4. Prepare questions ahead of time. You’re always going to be asked if you have any questions. Do you know what you want to ask? What questions might you have about the job, organization, culture, the people, the work? Don’t be be stumped when the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions for us” We like to ask questions with an equity lens and to think about the “why” behind some of the who, the what and the how of organizational practice that help us to reflect on the way a workplace truly works. Consider asking questions about workplace culture, like what team meetings look like, or what workplace celebrations look like. Remember to ask more questions that invite open-ended responses, not questions that have a specific fixed answer (although you may have some of those, too). And ask questions of the interviewer: consider how you might learn through their experience, by asking how long they’ve been with the organization, what brought them to join the team, and what excites them about the future of the organization. And don’t just ask questions at the end…it’s OK to ask throughout the interview!

5. Play the match game responsibly. Do the questions you’re preparing to ask match the role of the person who is interviewing you? If you’re meeting with the recruiter, and you’d like to know more about the benefits package, you may not get the right information. Consider the questions you have, and simply hold on to the ones that aren’t a good match for the person you’re speaking with–so that you have them for the next round. We encourage you to consider the kind of questions you’re asking, and to think about questions that tap into not just facts, but also the ways in which your prospective employer might handle particular challenges and situations, as well as their vision for–and creation of– a safe, respectful and equitable workplace culture.

6. Practice your personal story. Most interviews include some version of the question, “tell me more about yourself.” How do you plan to answer that question, in no more than 2 minutes? Be concise and prepared with a strong, authentic narrative so you’re not fumbling when this inevitable question comes up. It is OK to be humorous, but don’t make humor the centerpiece: make you and your work shine as you tell the story of you in interaction with the work you do. Consider sharing a few stepping stones or mile markers on your journey. What is your personal story here that is unique? Consider sharing examples of your personal narrative that emphasize your commitment to equity, to creating meaningful, safe and respectful workplace cultures and teams, and also examples of your own journey. In a later tip, we’ll tackle some of the trickier questions that might come up, too.

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