Even though you may have relationships that can connect you with your potential next job, it’s ultimately your interview with one or more of the players at the new company that will make or break the possibility of your being hired. So it’s essential to have a well thought out strategy that will ensure your best interview performance. Most people don’t and that gives you a significant edge.
Why Is The Job Open?
The first point to consider is why the job is open. If the job is a good one why hasn’t it been filled? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the job must not offer much because it’s open. Find out.
Check out the job description so you know what’s expected when you talk to them. And aside from the description find out what’s the significance of the job and its position within the company now and into the future. This will help you frame your approach much more effectively than just knowing the description.
What does the position imply about the future of the job to the company? Where is the job going and where will it take you? Answers to these questions will demonstrate your ability to connect the dots and present your vision for the role. Show your strategic side.
Attention to Detail
Searching deeply into the position will demonstrate your ability to focus on the details. This is an opportunity to show your implementation side—knowing the details points to your willingness and ability to execute. In fact you will be executing during the interview itself: not literally with respect to the job itself but literally with respect to the interview. Show your tactical side.
The big mistake most people make is they go into the interview prepared to talk about their skills and experience, which, in itself, is important but this approach can lead to you talking mostly about yourself. Think about it, if you were the interviewer what would you want to hear about—a candidate that says mostly me, me, me, me, or would you prefer to hear about what the candidate can do for the role and the company?
In your preparation be sure to think through the benefits you will bring to the job—the advantage(s) the company will gain by hiring you. An advantage is any circumstance you offer, or what opportunities you bring to set the job up for success that you can paint for the interviewer. You may bring a gain for the company that may extend as far as increased profit if the role has that kind of reach.
If this is your very first interview, say you just graduated from school, that only reduces the scope of what you have to offer. So you must consider what you bring that would be different from others. You can determine your benefits by comparing yourself to those you know from your class.
What do you believe in? How do you prefer to live? How do you measure your own performance? How do you determine what makes a good outcome, what benefits others, what is useful, what is beautiful, what is constructive or destructive? Your set of values generates your behaviors.
How clear are you with respect to your values? The clearer you are the more your values will guide your behavior during the interview and will show who you are so that the person interviewing you will get as good an idea of what you offer as an interview can yield. Be sure you can articulate your values re: work, commitment, focus, collaboration, company first, and personal values like integrity, loyalty, perseverance, etc. Your values are all about your mind and character.
For an extensive list of values go to http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm
Being secure in the steps above will give you a solid internal platform you can trust and stand on. Yes there will be others who interview for the role, but that doesn’t matter when you go in secure in yourself because in the end there is no competition. You can only be who you are as you come across clearly, authentically, confidently, and passionately. You will either be a fit for what the company is looking for or not. As you organize and present the most definitive presence you can, that, in itself, is commanding. You will come across as an authority, and most often, that’s what interviewers are looking for—someone who can be counted on to join the company in the deepest and broadest sense of the word “join.” You will become one of the “family” so to speak and that will not only make you productive but trustworthy which itself is a quality worth its weight in gold.
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(Photo Credit: endrian-enri, Flickr )
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