Nailing the Interview
Interviewing can be stressful and being able to nail it requires confidently showing up as who you are and speaking about not just what you do, but also how you do it so the company can really see who might be their next employee. Stand out from the competition, be yourself, and get that job.
With the rise in unemployment and the tough job market for those on the hunt, you must take the interview process seriously and kill it to claim the role you want. Employers aren’t just looking for a good fit with the right skills, background, and experience. They are looking for a cultural fit, meaning the candidate espouses the same values and behaviors. The interview is THE way to show who you are as a person – not just what you can do – and that can make all the difference in getting an offer.
These days, Interviews tend not to focus exclusively on the technical aspects of the role. If they are doing their job properly, recruiters are sourcing and screening candidates and moving forward those with the right experience and skill set. So, if you get invited to an interview, you’re at least meeting these bare minimum qualifications.
Once you get in front of the hiring manager, they may dig for more on your background, and you should be prepared for that. Never wing it; do your homework on the company, the role, the leader (hello LinkedIn), and have questions ready to show just how smart and thoughtful you are. After all, this is the critical opportunity where you get to make your mark and differentiate yourself so you must stand out amongst the other candidates. This is where you not only talk about what you’ve done but how you’ve done it. When I say “how”, I mean with real meaty examples and stories. Hiring managers want to see how you demonstrated those behaviors or values that any good employer is looking for.
These could be communication skills, integrity, collaboration, and accountability. And, if the role you want is leading people, you’ve got to share what you’ve done to get results through others, how you coach and develop staff, and how you manage a team. If all you do is talk hypothetically, or worse, not have any examples to offer, you might as well kiss the opportunity goodbye. There are too many other candidates out there who will beat you on this, even if you are all even on the experience front.
Last and just as important, the interview is a time to share your personality – being authentically who you are. This means if you’re naturally a warm person, show as much in the interview and describe how this style has helped you in your work experience. If you are bubbly and outgoing, allow yourself to shine in the interview. If you’re more serious, let that come through in your apparent seriousness about the role and company. Whatever you do, remain professional and be who you are. The last thing anyone wants is to be so artificially phony in the interview just to land the job and then have to fake it to continue to fit in once in the role.
What it all comes down to is the job you want is the one where you can bring your skills to the table. Show how you get the job done with a value-based approach. If any of the above things are missing, it is likely the job won’t be yours, nor would you want it.