It’s so surprising to me that people would spend a lot of time and effort working on their resume but almost no time preparing for an interview. I find it really interesting that most of my friends/clients have a very passive attitude when it comes to interviews. They simply wake up in the morning of the interview and hope for the best. They look at a successful interview as something they can’t control or have any influence on.
Walking into an interview unprepared rarely works so don’t do that. Both the recruiter and the candidate have to do some homework before each interview. As a recruiter I know that a wrong hiring decision can cost a company a lot of money and time. So I need to use the interview process to help me figure out who are the candidates with experience and who are the fakes.
It can take just a few seconds for you to lose in an interview. It can take the same amount of time to win so why not improve your odds and be as prepared as you can.
Recruiter vs Candidate
Ok so let’s break it down. A successful interview depends on your understanding of the role and the role of the recruiter.
As the candidate, your job is to sell your qualifications and leave the interview fully understanding the job requirements. The role of the recruiter is to sell the company, figure out if you’re serious and committed to working in the company and that you are the same person who is represented in the resume.
How To Prepare
Preparing for an interview takes time but it’s this time that can give you the edge on another candidate.
Here are some tips that will improve your interview performance.
- Universal Qualities
ALL companies are looking for the following characteristic in an employee: great communication skills, teamwork skills, honesty and self-confidence. So if possible try to use these qualities in your responses.
- Your Selling Points
Before each interview think of at least 3 accomplishments or skills that you consider to be your major selling points. To figure out your selling points, think of situations where you overcame a challenge or streamlined a process. During the interview try to always direct the conversation to your selling points.
- It’s Not All About The Words
Communication is VERY important but I’m not just talking about words. Your appearance and attitude give out a message too. You have to remember that the recruiter and Manager(s) are trying to figure out if they can sit next to you on a daily basis. If you are confident, sitting up straight (posture is very important) and are overall pleasant during an interview, you will be one step closer to a job offer.
- Turn the interview into a Conversation
You don’t want an interview to be like answering a firing squad of questions. The key is turning the interview into a conversation. You need to ask questions throughout the interview that show your interest in the company. NEVER leave an interview without asking a single question and “how much will I get paid?” doesn’t count and never should be asked. If you ask relevant questions then the recruiter will believe that you are serious about the job.
- Common Interview Questions
DO NOT get tongue tied or frazzled with questions that you should have been prepared for. There are several common questions that recruiters ask: Tell me about yourself, Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a situation and What do you consider your major achievement? When you sign up to get this blog by email you also get more than 80 FREE commonly used interview questions.
You need to rehearse your answers and practice your responses to these common questions. You need to rehearse but you don’t want to sound rehearsed because I promise you the recruiter’s bull shit detector will go off. The goal is to sound genuine so practice, practice, practice!
At The End of The Day
If you want to sabotage your interview then go in unprepared. Job offers are not won by accident and crossing your fingers won’t help. Taking the time to prepare for an interview will improve your odds for a job offer.
At the end of the day a recruiter usually has to decide between two or three candidates with similar backgrounds and experience. The deciding factor on who gets the offer will come down to the interview.
Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best. Make a conscious decisions to do the best and get the job you want.
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Photo by: hiddedevries