Jobs seldom go to the best qualified candidate. They are often filled by the best communicators, marketers and salespeople. You cannot predict what an employer will ask you in the interview, however, you can prepare yourself.
Six Strategies for Successful Interviewing
- Solid preparation. Be as prepared or better prepared than the interviewer! List out the questions you expect from the interview and the questions you want to ask. Then, practice your responses prior to the interview. You do not want to appear to be rote but you do want to be ready.
- Today’s interviewers use behavior-type questions to gather information on your approach and thought process when dealing with issues. Be prepared to respond to behavior-based questions such as: Tell me about a time when you helped solve a problem. Prior to the interview make a list of 10 work accomplishments and relate these to the interviewer’s behavior-based questions.
- The goal of interview is to gather information about the company and to get your core message across. Ask questions such as: What duties will I be performing? Whose responsibility is it to see I get up to speed? How often would I be evaluated? By whom? And how? What has made you successful in this particular company? The goal of the interview is also to get your core message across as to what value you can bring to this company. Have a ‘personal branding’ statement that sets you apart from others and demonstrates your value. In addition, provide specific examples from past work history that will demonstrate your experience and past successes.
- After your interview, be sure to make notes on what you learned about the organization and the position you are seeking. Also, analyze your own performance during the interview and determine how to improve.
- Know your wants and needs, and their priority. Make sure to research salaries and ranges for this specific position. Salary.com is a great website for this kind of information. If you are unable to get the salary you wish, perhaps there are other perks such as working at home one day a week that the company might agree to.
- Negotiating during the interview is important. The best way to encourage offers in addition to stories about your prior success is to say: ‘I would really like this position.’ Remember that everything is negotiable once an offer is made. Always take a ‘win-win’ stance as it will display your flexibility to work with others.
Here are some simple interviewing rules: 50 – 50 rule: listen 50% of time; talk 50% of time.
- Speak only 20 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Be seen as a resource person.
- Be seen as problem solver not part of the problem.
- Realize that employer thinks that the way you are handling the interview is the way you will handle your job.
- Do not bad mouth your present employer.