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Here's the first in our series of tips for folks preparing for job interviews. This first set of tips will be useful a bit in advance, and will help you get into the right mindset as well. We know, though, that employers may be reading this as well, so you'll have the inside scoop.

  1. Do your homework. It’s not just the interviewer interviewing you. You’re also interviewing the organization. Make sure that you know your prospective employer as deeply as you can. Have you researched the organization, their mission, vision and what kind of impact they have? Review their website, their social media, and their publications. What do you really know about this organization as a workplace? Consider how this fits into the kind of work you hope to be doing, from the angle of the position you’re aspiring to fill. Go through the website as carefully as you can, looking closely at the staff page (with bios) to learn about how the organization is structured, and consider all of the various content you might uncover. See if they’ve been in the news lately, produced any publications or reports, or had recent success stories that you can reference in the interview. It shows you’re serious about the job, and on their end, it’s flattering to know that you put in the time to get to know them. This also helps to level the playing field psychologically, enabling you to come best prepared for dialogue. Bring an equity lens to your homework: What is visible to you, and what (or who) might be missing? What is, then, invisible? What do you need to learn in your interview that isn’t available via the website (providing you with an opportunity to ask in the interview)? Do some counting. Who do you see, and who do you not see? You may want to wonder about the makeup of the staff, the makeup of a volunteer board or council, and even whose voices are represented in testimonials and whose images are represented on the website.

  2. Review the job posting carefully. Note that many job postings are gigantic and edge toward job descriptions over simpler and clearer job listings, with lots of content that nods toward a detailed outline of goals and objectives and a fuller description of the portfolio. Many folks skip this review of the job posting in preparation for interviews, although it is useful for generating additional questions. Your review can then lead you to generating clear examples to offer in your interview. Bring an equity lens to your review by closely examining the language used, what qualifications are listed, or seem evident in the assumptions the employer is bringing and the specific skills necessary to get the job done. Recall that typically, men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. Do you meet the qualifications, and does this matter?

  3. Get to know your interviewer. Make sure that you’re familiar with the person or people who will be interviewing you, and where they sit in the organization’s hierarchy, what role they play, their portfolio, and their tenure. This brings a relational lens to your interview, and helps you to locate your dialogue in the human story that is an important component of the interview process. Get to know them with a look at their bio on the organization’s website, or via LinkedIn, but don’t cyberstalk them. Your knowledge of this person will make a good impression, and help you to prepare for the interview, too. From an equity perspective, this human story is a vital part of building relational connection in every interview–not with just one or two of your favorite candidates. Modeling it for your interviewer helps you to weave this perspective into your work, and make it visible that a human and relational story is one of the important components of a holistic interview process.

Compiled by The Gender Equity Advocates Network

Longer-than-ever, more extensive and involved hiring processes. Layoffs, even where the unemployment rate is the lowest in years. The way we work is at odds with the kind of work we aspire to do and our workplaces are increasingly places of growing discontent, with an integrity gap between the way we aspire to be, and the kind of culture we’re creating. The work itself is meaningful, but the way we are building our workplaces, and welcoming employees into our workplaces, creates this powerful integrity gap. On one hand, we need to craft more effective boundaries between life and work. On the other, we want to create a more realistic work-life dynamic, shaping our workplaces into healthier, safer and more respectful spaces that enable us to flourish as people. We’ve moved past the Great Resignation (or the Great Attrition) into a new phase when the workplace and the job market is still not quite sure what it will be: we’re awaiting a sense of stability. Jobs are open, and folks are looking for new positions: everyone is seeking the right match, positions that can help them (both employers and employees) to grow, that have equitable, supportive and flexible workplace policies, with benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. And when interviewing, prospective employees are savvy, careful and looking for the best match possible.

Does any of this sound familiar? This may be you. Are you looking for a new position? Planning your next move? You’re likely doing so in a thoughtful, reflective process, gathering data and carefully examining and evaluating your options. And for the employers reading this, you may be interviewing candidates for a position and doing so in an equally thoughtful way. No matter what side of this process you represent, you want to approach your hiring process in a way that embraces and telegraphs equity.

Over the next six weeks, we’re going to share 3 tips each week to improve the interview experience for prospective employees. What helps you to show your best self to a prospective employer? We know, though, that employers will read this too–so we want them to read this and to take that process seriously, with an equity lens? Remember that this is a competitive market on all sides, and we all need to make sure we’re ready. Let’s do some of that work together. The good news is that interviewing is something under your control; it’s a skill you can learn, whether you are looking for a position or are hiring. Now let’s get started!

We've come to the end of our six week series of tips to support job seekers as they prepare for interviews. In this time of incredibly extensive, attenuated and involved hiring processes, we know that preparation is both necessary and how we manage our expectations and our time. Distinguish yourself both by your talent, expertise and credentials, and by the effective way you've prepared to shine in your interview.

16. Be able to explain the job posting in your own words. Often, the title for a position can be ambiguous, or even deliberately so. Can you clearly articulate in a few words that kind of position this is, and what you might be required to do in the role? Imagine if a friend were to ask you, “So, what is this job that you’re interviewing for?” Could you clearly articulate the mission and vision of the organization (in a basic way) and the required skills and experiences? This will help you internalize the role and feel confident in your qualifications. It also may help you feel in command of specific information that will help you master your conversation with the interviewer.

17. Grow your network. Even an interview that doesn’t result in a job offer is a chance to weave your network. Of course, you’re already getting started with the thank you note from above, so you can also take a look at your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile and extend an invite. And while it’s bold, you might want to drop a note to the person who interviewed you (or even someone who you met in the interview) at some point later (a few weeks down the line), and simply let them know that you’re thinking of them, and thank them for their time, or appreciate the ways in which you helped them to learn. Do this only once–the goal is to stay top of mind but not to get to the point at which you are annoying. You also can follow the organization on Instagram. But don’t get personal–don’t ask to follow the individual you’ve interviewed with on Facebook or Instagram. Keep to professional networks.

18. Express your thanks. We suggest sending a follow up or thank you note to your interviewer, and not just once, but at every stage of the process. This not only helps you to stand out, but enables you to comment on specific parts of the process you appreciated or learned from. And of course, know that so many of your colleagues don’t do this, so the simple fact that you do enables you to stick out from the pack and offers another opportunity to talk more about why you’re perfect for the job or continue a conversation started in the interview. This follow up email can also offer you an opportunity to ask another question or share an insight you had based on the conversation.

Want to write for our blog? This series was produced by a team of 10 Gender Equity Advocates, members of our Gender Equity Advocates Network who worked together collaboratively to write, edit and think about the issues that have affected their employement processes through an equity lens. We would love to have you join in our next shared blog project, or to write a blog post independently. Reach out to us at

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