Think of it this way: the person who is most prepared for a job interview is likely going to be the top candidate for the position you are interviewing for. Will that be you?
So, with that in mind, it is critical you take the time to prepare for your interview. Here are some keys to helping you prepare.
Understand the Need of the Organization
Many of the people I’ve worked with often look this critical element of preparation. Try to understand why the company is hiring. What are they looking for? What about your role is critical to the success of the business as a whole? This is often touched on in the job description provided by the company. Read through it several times. Highlight what you think the need is. Then, take the time to write down how you can solve that need. What makes you better or more qualified than anyone else to fulfill that need?
Most of us find it challenging to talk about ourselves, or at least that is what I’ve observed from my years of resume writing and interview coaching. So let’s briefly guide you through a couple ideas to help know how to talk about yourself in your job interview.
- Relate your experience to the position you are applying for. By keeping it relevant to the job at hand you are engaging your listener and giving them reason to believe you will do well in the new role.
- Understand that it is OK to talk about yourself, your interviewer will be expecting it! This is your chance to sell yourself! Write down your accomplishments ahead of your job interview and review them before going into your interview so they are fresh in your mind.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. Keep your strength focused on the job you are interviewing for. Keep your weakness away from the job. Provide an example of something you are working on and make sure your weakness is not critical to the job. This is really important. If you are interviewing for a mattress salesman job and you tell your interviewer your weakness is talking to people then you are doomed! You get the idea.
Remember It Is A Conversation
While it is critical to prepare and rehearse for your interview, you want to make sure you don’t sound like a robot. With enough preparation, you will feel more comfortable with your responses and will be able to focus more on having an engaging conversation with your interviewer. Likeability is an important consideration for a new hire. Engage the interviewer with questions throughout the interviewer so they get a chance to talk about themselves. Just remember to keep it formal, you are not trying to make a best friend, you are making a strategic partnership.
Prepare Thoughtful Questions
Demonstrate your professionalism and preparedness by bringing a list of thoughtful questions. Make it about the interviewer, the company, and the position. Also, remember that you are interviewing the company to make sure the job is a fit for you too. Here are some examples to consider:
- What do you like most about working here?
- What changes would you like to see within the organization?
- What is the growth plan for the organization?
- What is the typical succession within the company for people in the role I am interviewing for today?
- What has made other people successful in the role I am interviewing for?
There is more information on how to prepare for a job interview than I can fit in this blog. Keep checking back for new information or contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your interview coaching or resume writing needs.