Your success in an interview is based on your ability to sell your background and experience, showing how you are right for the job, and showing what you can bring to the ultimate success of the company by possessing a genuine interest in the job and the company.
Your preparation in selling YOU will ultimately be the key.
Your goal is to present yourself as the kind of candidate the employer is looking for: someone with good knowledge of self, capabilities and with a clear vision of goals and opportunities.
The first 5 minutes of the interview are vital!
This is where the interviewer makes some very important perceptions about you. Project a favorable image by arriving early, dressing appropriately, and behaving in a courteous manner. Be poised and enthusiastic about your opportunities with the employer, and confident in your abilities.
In your advanced preparation, determine three key skill sets you can bring to the position based on your background. You are selling yourself, so even if the question is not specifically asked, make sure you add these points at some point in the conversation.
It is important to be honest. Employers do not like surprises. Be upfront about your education, employment and background. Today’s companies are savvy and check this vital information. Too often candidates try to embellish criteria in an effort to secure a position, but in reality, it backfires. Always be honest. If you have not acquired a certain certification, be open about it and express willingness to get additional training.
Always listen closely to the question and stay on the subject.
The hiring manager has some key points they are trying to evaluate for each candidate and has chosen specific questions in which to do so. Too often candidates come in the room and do all the talking, not allowing the interviewer to get a word in edgewise. Breathe. Relax. Most importantly…Listen. Let the interviewer ask the question then succinctly answer that specific question to the best of your ability. Referencing real situations or experiences proves your response, and is much more effective than generalizations. Elaborate on questions instead of giving a simple yes or no answer.
Volunteering an example of a real situation is key in effectively selling yourself as it provides validity to your response, but be careful not to go off on tangents.This is a key complaint from many interviewers. If the interviewer asks you what time it is, do not tell him how to make the watch. If the employer does not feel like you are giving pointed answers to his questions in a clear and concise manner, they may come to the conclusion that you will not follow directions. Just answer the questions you have been asked. More isn’t always better, especially in an interview with the hiring manager has little time and is looking for an efficient, effective addition to his team.
Remember that you are there to find out if this is a company that you can love.
Feel free to write out questions ahead of time that you can ask to get a feel for the direction of the company, along with whether the position will give you the growth and development you desire. Asking questions like, “why the position is available,” and asking to meet the manager or team you will be working with, are very acceptable and help you to decide if this is the right opportunity for you.
Be sure to focus your questions 60/40 on what you can add to the company’s growth and what the company can add to your growth, respectively. Avoid questions about benefits and compensation in your first interview unless they are asked by the interviewer.