There are many blogs written on interviewing. There’s advice on behavioral interviews, sequential interviews, competency interviews, and a myriad of other interviewing styles. But, in my opinion there are basic principles that apply to all interviewing styles and approaches that can help you on your next interview.
1. BE PREPARED. Preparation pertains not only on researching the company and job you are interviewing for, but knowing and preparing to discuss your product…YOU! Over the years, we have interviewed candidates who weren’t sure of their own employment dates , previous supervisors, and their resume information. Make sure when going on interviews that you take the time to review your resume and are prepared to talk about yourself. You never want an employer to look at your resume, and ask a question about your resume and you say, “Oops, that’s a mistake”. Trust me, that is never a good response.
2. SELL. Employers want people who can help them make money, save money, solve problems, and or protect their good name. Make sure when on an interview you can demonstrate the ability to do as many of those items as possible. You must be able to discuss accomplishments, achievements, or results of “things” you’ve done in the work place or in school. In this day and age employers are looking for “plug and play” employees. This is code for hiring people with a minimal amount of up time. You must demonstrate that you are the kind of person who does not cause problems, BUT you are the type of individual who can help companies actually solve problems.
3. PROJECT CONFIDENCE. When on interviews it’s critical to convey a confident not arrogant attitude. You may not have all the right experience, but be confident in what you do have and what you did. Remember that employers do not hire resumes. Resumes simply get you in the door. They hire people and personalities.
4. CLOSE. Just like in any sales situation, and yes, interviewing is a sales situation, you must close. If you are genuinely interested in the job, you need to let the employer know it. Never assume that the employer knows you are interested by mere fact that you are there. Most employers (at least the ones that I know) are not mind readers. You have to clearly state your interest level. Either let the employer know that you would want and like the job, or ask the question, “What’s the next step”. It’s human nature that employers want to hire people who feel good about the opportunity they are interviewing for and can contribute.
I hope these common sense tips help on your next interview. Because they are common sense tips, they can and usually are overlooked. One last thought, remember don’t tell employers about your experience, BUT sell them on your experience.