Searching for a new job is a lot of work. Making it through the initial screening process and being granted an interview is a significant step. It is now time to show them what you’ve got. The organization has a need, and your job is to convince the interviewer that you are the one to fill it. Follow the fundamentals below to increase your chances of success.
1. Research the company. This is such a simple thing to do, yet so few candidates take the hour or so that it takes to learn about the hiring organization. Interviewers want to know why you want to work for their company. To convince them of your interest, you must find out about it – the size, markets, competitors, etc. There is so much information available via the web. Yahoo and/or Google finance are great sources for publicly traded companies. LinkedIn is also a good source.
Try to find out about the position and the hiring manager too (likes, dislikes, pain points, goals, management styles). Information gathered will help frame your questions and responses during the interview.
2. Rehearse the typically asked questions. Most companies use behavioral interviewing questions. The gist is that past behavior is a predictor of future behavior, so interviewers will ask you how you handled situations in the past, in order to gain insight into how you might handle them in the future.
Here are a couple of samples…
Tell me about a time you had to confront an obstacle.
Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer.
Keep your answers brief (1-2 minutes). Try to use examples that are related to the opportunity if possible.
Other common questions you should be prepared to answer include…
Tell me about yourself.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
With these questions, the interviewer is trying to get a sense for how well you communicate. Keep your answers short for these as well. Provide a brief career summary for the first question. For the strengths, let the interviewer know how your strengths can help with the new opportunity. For development areas, concentrate on what you have done to improve.
Practice. Time yourself. Record your responses. If you don’t have a recording device, practice in front of a mirror. Remember to make eye contact.
In general when asking/answering questions, the focus should always be on how you will help fill the need(s). We have many more Job Interview Help Articles Now Available.
3. Come up with a list of questions to ask the interviewers. Write them down. Bring them with you to the meeting. Don’t be afraid to reference the list. It will show that you took time to think about the position and to prepare. Obviously you’ll want to alter the questions based on any new information you learn during the meeting.
4. Dress to impress. Wear a business suit. Be clean, and presentable.
5. Be yourself. Don’t alter your personality during an interview and don’t lie or exaggerate.
6. Avoid discussing salary requirements. If asked, explain that you’d prefer to find out more about the position first. If pressed, you can ask for a range and let the interviewer know if you fit within it. Negotiating compensation and discussing benefits should occur after an offer is made.
7. Say thank you. Make sure to shake hands firmly and confidently and thank interviewers for their time. Don’t leave without getting business cards. Within 24 hours of the interview send out thank you notes in email. Make sure to relay what appeals to you about the position and how you can help fill the need.
Interviews are tough to come by. Don’t squander the opportunities. Observe the tips above and land that new job. We have many more Job Interview Articles Now Available.