On the one hand, job interviews suck. They're nerve-wracking, your palms sweat — it's the adult equivalent of the SATs.

But if you reframe job interviews as a chance to meaningfully connect one-on-one with people already working in the industry you want a foothold in, they can be a goldmine of intel and a chance to shine. Remember: The person interviewing is, in fact, a person. So no matter what, don't go in to robot mode. Take a deep breath, drop your shoulders, smile, and be yourself. Hit these eight points and you'll knock it out of the park.

Do Your Homework

Walk into the interview well-versed in the specific company and the industry's trends in general. Research the company's key players as well as your interviewers.

"Look at their profiles on LinkedIn and see if you find a common bond," says David Lewis, chief executive of OperationsInc., a human resources outsourcing and consulting firm, told the New York Times. "If you are able to say, 'I went to the same college as you' or 'I also majored in psychology,' that demonstrates you really did your homework."

Dress the Part

You know the expression: Dress for the job you want. Come looking like you already work there and are giving an important presentation. Even if it's a casual tech startup, you don't want to show up in jeans and a hoodie.

Reread the Job Description

Remember the buzz works and skills your prospective employer uses to describe the position. Integrate those skills into examples and anecdotes that illustrate you're prepared for the position.

Be Proactive

Instead of waiting to see what your interviewer asks you, come to the interview with five points you want to make about what you plan to bring to the position and company.

Come Ready to Boast

At least a couple of those points should highlight past successes and positive impacts you've had at work. Have you launched successful campaigns, streamlined processes, or built meaningful alliances? Come prepared to matter-of-factly state the successes you've already demonstrated.

Prepare Smart Questions

At the end of the interview, an interviewer always asks if you have any questions for her, and you want to respond with something more than, "Where's the bathroom?" Indeed.com suggests some of the following:

  • "How would you describe the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?"
  • "If I were in this position, how would my performance be measured? How often?"
  • "What departments does this team work with regularly? How do these departments typically collaborate? What does that process look like?"

And don't be afraid to make a connection with your interviewer through the process. Asking your interviewer about the most meaningful opportunities they've been presented with, as well as how they've developed in their role shows you're looking at the job as something potentially long-term, Alexa Hamill, American campus recruiting leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the New York Times. Also: people love talking about themselves.

Ask About Next Steps

In the interviewer doesn't conclude by sharing a timeline or next steps, don't be afraid to ask.

Send a Thank You Note

Screw the stamps. Email is more timely. Think of this not only as a chance to thank them for their time, but to underscore any meaningful connections or points made in the interview, or to include something you forgot.

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I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.

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Quiet Quitting is the latest trend among Gen-Z TikTok that encourages setting boundaries at work

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Toni Morrison has an anecdote about her first ever job, which was cleaning some neighborhood woman’s house. The young Toni arrived home after work one day and expressed her troubles to her father. But he didn’t provide the sympathy she expected. Instead, he gave her something better — his advice:

“Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. With your people. Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.”

Years later, she wrote about this remarkable experience for the New Yorker and said, in hindsight, this is what she learned:

1. Whatever the work is, do it well—not for the boss but for yourself

2. You make the job; it doesn’t make you

3. Your real life is with us, your family

4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are

What Morrison so eloquently articulated was setting boundaries. I revisited this piece during the pandemic when working from home ramped up in earnest. Back when work was one of the few things that anchored my day.

Without a physical office, the pandemic shattered the work/life balance for many people. There was no more of that physical separation that Morrison talked about. There is no coming home from work physically. There is no real life to come back to — just a manufactured commute to your laptop in your makeshift home office.

But, par for the course, Gen Z are navigating this boundaryless era using TikTok. While internet gurus promote hustle culture and constant online availability since you’re not getting face time with your managers, there’s a trend in town — “quiet quitting.”


@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound - ruby


The trend arose from the depths of the pandemic. Layoffs, salary cuts, and furloughs proved that their employers did not care about their hard-working employees.

The Washington Post dubs quiet quitting as a fresh trem for an old phenomenon: employee disengagement. In many cases, it’s a response to burnout. For much of Gen Z, it’s a way of establishing healthy boundaries in the office and resisting the pressure of the rat race. After all, why work yourself to the bone for a company that just proved it’s ready and willing to let you go?

Despite the term’s negative connotations, Quiet Quitting can provide an empowering shift in thinking for employees.

For far too long, employees have been indoctrinated with a slew of toxic workplace advice. Faced with these old misconceptions and lacking job security or clear paths for advancement, Gen Z is untethering their identities from work.

Quiet quitting — therefore — might be a bit of a misnomer. These employers aren’t completely disengaged. They’re certainly not launching Flight Club-esque sabotage attempts on their employers. NO. Contrary to media panic, Gen Z understands the value of a job — the fickle market they entered ensured that. But they also understand the value of life.

They’re doing what they’re being paid for. Nothing more, nothing less.

According to Chief, a private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders, older generations should learn from this approach.

“Gen Z has already endured the largest seismic shifts to the career landscape than any previous generation, having started their careers in the middle of a pandemic that changed office culture forever and a gig economy that makes piecing together work more viable. They’re taking both those realities and therefore demanding more autonomy and flexibility than any other generation.”

Gen Z are less attached to job titles and statuses. They’re more concerned about their lives. Sure, this can lead to problematic outlooks on money and experiences — see the “I can earn my money back” TikTok trend. But it’s better than hustling for no reward. Besides, as some Gen Z-ers put it on TikTok, the office isn’t even a vibe.

“With the ability to work from anywhere and for more than just one place, Gen Z-ers are forging their own paths that don’t rely on old patterns set by previous generations and are redefining what “career success” looks like. Gen Z can take note, as more and more leaders are similarly pursuing multiple income streams of their own through the form of a portfolio career. The way in which work looks like and where it happens is evolving.”

With less single-minded focus on one job, some TikTok business gurus advocate shutting your laptops precisely at 5 pm. And then jump onto your side hustle. Do nails or lashes on the weekend. Become social media managers for your phone. Sell soap on Etsy (again … perhaps not in the Fight Club way).

But this valorization of side hustles is not about hustle culture, either. They say job security isn’t guaranteed. Learning new skills and develop an alternate income stream/s to keep you afloat. Just make sure you’re not left in the lurch. BTW inflation is here. So every little bit helps.

But where do you start? Watching TikToks can only get you so far. Try a course on LinkedIn Learning to sharpen up your skills and learn new ones that you can turn into a verifiable side hustle — or leverage in your job search if quiet quitting leads to … real quitting.

Learn on your own time with bite-sized videos or in-depth courses. Watch them after work, before you clock in, or on your lunch break. Then, after your courses are complete, you’ll have certificates prominently displayed on your profile that prove your skills.