Job Interviews are not the most natural situation for most of us. Typically you are meeting the interviewer(s) for the first time, most likely in a new place with a company you don’t know intimately. You need to convince the person that you are the best person for a job that you have not practiced with that employer. And hopefully you only do this every few years, so you may not have had a lot of practice lately. Ug.
Whether you are speaking with a recruiter or a hiring manager, there are proven ways to make a good impression and effectively communicate who you are and what you have to offer. First of all, prepare several talking points (and don’t forget the last one like happened in a recent political debate). Have the main points you want to make to the interviewer down pat. This will allow you to say on point.
Identify the company’s or the hiring manager’s priorities ahead of time if possible, or at the outset of the interview. If you work with a recruiter or have an opening conversation, ask what those priorities to prepare for the interview. Dialogue with colleagues and industry professionals to learn about what the company/position/sector really needs to succeed. Research the company’s culture, track record and mission/vision. Now tailor your talking points to how your skills and abilities will fit the company’s needs and strategic vision.
Armed with your talking points, you should relax and dialogue naturally incorporating your message into your responses. If you are asked about your track record, know how your successes will match up with what the hiring manager needs from his next hire. If you are asked about previous challenges and how you overcame them, choose an example that shows that your decision making would be an asset for this company’s needs. Align your answers to support the takeaways that you want to leave with the interviewer.
Remember, this isn’t a social call, it is a sales pitch. You must sell yourself, your experience, your abilities, and your fit, while demonstrating how you meet the company’s needs and effectively communicating your takeaways.
Redfish offers a number of job serach and career managment articles on the Redfish website in the Candidate Resource Library. Check it out!