Excelling at the Interview
In today’s job market, sometimes having great qualifications and a strong resume just isn’t enough. Those applicants that really want to make sure that they get the job that they want need to somehow separate themselves from the other qualified applicants, and it isn’t always clear exactly how this can be done. One of the easy ways to better your chances of getting your dream job is to focus on the interview process. While a lot of applicants look similar on paper, the interview can really help show a hiring manager who is the best candidate. And of course, you really want that person to be you. We’ll show you how to do this.
First, remember that first impressions count for a lot. You want to look professional, so make sure that you are dressed at least according to the company’s dress code. Going up one step from this can be to your benefit, too. Keep in mind that you are creating a first impression the moment that you walk in the door. You should introduce yourself politely, inform the receptionist that you have an interview, let them know who it is with, and wait patiently. While you are waiting, you are also helping to form that crucial first glance at who you are. Don’t be fidgety or nervous, but rather sit calmly, read a magazine if they have any laying around. You can often get bonus points if you are going through a company publication or trade manual if these are options. It shows that you are more interested in the task at hand than you are in entertainment. It says a lot about your work ethic.
Next, put yourself in the position of the interview. What are they looking for? What is the company looking for? This requires you to go a step beyond your normal interview preparation process, but it’s one that will pay off. For example, think about what the company is looking for out of your position, rather than what you are looking for. Does the company really care what they can do to help you further your career? Of course not! They are looking for how you can help the company get certain tasks or goals accomplished. Begin your answers to their questions with this point of view in mind, and you will be one step closer to getting the job.
You can’t be prepared for every single interview question that you will get, but you can be prepared for most. A lot of questions are standards, so you should have a general idea of how you want to answer these. Also, going over your resume can give you an idea of what you’ll be asked. Maybe you have a lot of experience in an area outside of the current industry you are applying to. This is likely to pose some questions for the interviewers, so come up with a plan for how you want to handle this. How did it prepare you for the current position that you are applying for? What lessons did you learn? What things led you to change career paths? These are all things that the interviewers will be wondering and it’s all fair game for questions, so come up with some good answers beforehand on how you want to approach this. Having experience outside of the industry isn’t bad, but you do want to show that it will help you succeed in your prospective role.
And if there’s one question that you want to have a great answer for, it’s “why are you the best person for the job?” Put a lot of thought into this one so that when you’re asked, there’s no awkwardness. You want them to know that you are the best candidate, so nail this one.