If you want to enjoy career advancement, you will face the daunting task of interviewing. Interviewing is a sales process which is not necessarily in your comfort zone unless you are a sales professional.
After being in the Recruiting Profession for over 25 years, I’ve realized it is not the most qualified person who receives a job offer, it’s the person who conducts the best “audition.” Think about actors who experience a screen test before they are selected for a specific role. View your interview as an audition, where you want the interviewers to envision you in the (role) job.
The word interview infers a series of questions and answers. The greatest mistake you can make during a job interview is viewing it as a “fact finding mission.” There is always competition when seeking a new opportunity and you want to be memorable, for all the right reasons.
When you implement the following auditioning tips, you will differentiate yourself from other professionals with similar experience. As a result, you will consistently ace interviews which will enhance your career advancement.
The greatest mistake you can make during a job interview is viewing it as a “fact finding mission.”
TIP 1 – RESEARCH THE COMPANY
Set up Google Alerts on companies you have targeted. Read the most current information being posted online, so you are well informed. Pay special attention to Press and Media, which reveals what others are saying about the company.
TIP 2 – RESEARCH THE OPPORTUNITY
Most jobs are listed on the Employment Pages of each company’s website. Tie in your experience and skills to the specific requirements of the job. Most actors and actresses receive a copy of the script before their screen test; therefore, they understand the role they are auditioning for in the movie.
You must understand the requirements of the job so you can prepare how you will present yourself in your interview. In a job interview, focus on what you bring to the table that coincides with the specs of the opportunity. This will help the interviewer realize you are a fit for the job.
TIP 3 – RESEARCH THE INDIVIDUAL
Learn as much as you can about the person who will be conducting your interview. Their name and information about them may be listed on the company website. Conduct a simple Google Search for their name and review their LinkedIn Profile.
To go one step further, download the chrome extension crystalknows. This will provide you with a free mini assessment. It is incredibly accurate and provides you with great insight on the person conducting your interview.
TIP 4 – ARRIVE PREPARED
If your interview is onsite, bring several copies of the same resume or CV you originally sent to them to your interview. Often when an initial interview goes well, you are introduced to additional people in the hiring process. Bringing extra copies of your resume or CV shows that you have proactively prepared.
If your interview is remote, conduct a trial run of the technology that will be utilized and remember to talk to the camera, not the picture of the interviewer on your screen. Be aware of your background, find a private room where you will not be interrupted, and make sure you have a strong internet connection.
TIP 5 – LISTEN AND CLARIFY
When questions are being asked, listen to the entire question before responding. If you are not sure of your answer, ask for clarification of the question. Whenever possible, provide specific examples rather than providing a general response.
Whenever possible, draw attention to your accomplishments and the impact the had on past employers. Ask yourself the question, “What did I do different, better, faster, more efficiently in my job than the person who had the job previous to me?”
TIP 6 – ASK THE BEST QUESTIONS
When you are being asked questions, the interviewer is in control of the process. When you ask questions, you are in control. Avoid asking self-serving questions and instead ask questions that reveal the priorities of the interviewer.
Some examples include:
• “Can you tell me what skills are most important to you, for this position?” (Obviously, you show them how you have those skills)
• “What will the top priority be for the person you hire?”
• “How do I compare with the candidates you have interviewed so far?”
• “If you could add one skill to your current department, what would that be?”
One of the best questions you can ask…
“Do I have the experience and skills you’re looking for in this position?
You then listen carefully to the response. If they say the word “but,” whatever follows that word could be a reason for them to screen you out! You need to overcome concerns if you want to be considered for the job. “I can totally understand why you have that concern, please let me explain how that will not be a problem…”
TIP 7 – TARGET DATE TO HIRE & NEXT STEP
To determine where the company is in the hiring process, ask the following questions:
• “What is your target date to hire someone for this position?”
• “Would you describe your interviewing process?”
• “When are you planning to set up second interviews?”
• “When should I follow up with you?”
Hiring authorities always react positively to someone with a high level of interest. When you ask for the target date and when you should follow up, you are displaying your interest and confidence.
After your interview follow up with a handwritten thank you note to everyone you met thanking them for their time, showing the confidence you have in your ability to do the job, and expressing a high level of interest in working for their company! You can initially send an email but, follow up with the thank you note you send by mail which is another differentiator.
View all future interviews as auditions, implement these seven tips, and you will continue to advance in your career.
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