Interview Tips

Interview Tips

One of the best and scariest moments for a job searcher is when they land an interview for a possible job position. On one hand, all the hard work of developing a resume’, following with networking contacts, research and searching appear to be paying off. On the other hand, there is usually concern about the interview itself. What do I say? How do I get ready? What if I say something wrong?

One question I often get from my clients, is do you have any interviewing tips for me? Fortunately, I was asked to speak on the topic of interviewing several months ago and put together a presentation that I felt captured many of my recommendations very well. Here are some of the key points from that talk.

What Is An Interview?

  • A Business Meeting
  • An Exchange of Information Between You and an Organization
  • An Opportunity to Learn About:
    • An organization
    • A particular job opening
    • The environment of that organization
    • Additional opportunities at that firm
    • Your potential boss
    • Your prospective peers

The Purpose of an Interview

  • Get and Give Information – So You’ll Get Another Meeting (Keep the Relationship Going)

Preparing for the Interview

  • Do Your Homework – Research the Company, the Industry, the People Who Will Be Interviewing You
  • Develop Your Script – How will you present yourself?
  • Think and Act As a Consultant – What are their problems and how can you help solve them?

The Interview Itself – Thoughts and Suggestions

  • Make the Interview About Them, and How You Can Solve Their Problems
  • Answer All Questions In a Positive Manner (THIS WILL TAKE PRACTICE)
  • Look to Keep the Interview Conversational
  • Take Notes Throughout. (You Will Not Remember Afterwards Who Said What)
  • Have Questions Prepared. Look to Have Those Questions Be As Focused As Possible on the Position or the Organization.
  • Be conscious of to whom in the organization you are speaking. Look to focus your answers to address what you anticipate would be their concerns.
  • Be attentive to any objections or concerns raised about you and your candidacy. Be prepared to address them in your follow-up steps.
  • Always keep an OPEN MIND. Nothing is actually being offered until they make an offer to you. As such, all conversation as part of the process is to not only to confirm that you have the skills, but you are THE RIGHT FIT for the job

Summary of Thoughts

  • Be prepared
  • Work as many opportunities as possible. Don’t put all your emphasis on one interview and one company
  • The purpose of first (and early round interviews) IS NOT to get a job offer. It is to get the next interview and keep the process going
  • Prepare for the interview to be one where you are giving information and getting information (basically learning what are their problems and issues, and what skill sets you have to help address those issues).
  • 50% of the interview process is being prepared. The remainder is having the right attitude. Be self-confident, (but not arrogant). Know what it is that you can do. It will assist you in showing how you are the candidate to meet their needs