It’s a fact. Whether you’re 25 or 65 interviewing can be a nerve-wracking, pulse-pounding affair in which you find yourself fidgety and flustered. Plus interviewers are guaranteed to ask a few quirky and occasionally inappropriate questions. Surely designed, you’re thinking, to throw you off track.
That said, if you haven’t interviewed recently, know this. The interview process has significantly changed. This isn’t said to instill fear but help you ready your mind for what to expect in your next interview.
Pre-interviews. Most companies use a variety of processes. Here’s a few:
* An interview with a panel of 4-8 managers
* Phone screening
* Psychological and skills testing
* Situational interviewing
* Cognitive ability testing
* Other required testing
By the time you reach the actual interview, this may have been a tiring all-day affair. Yet you must head into it with enthusiasm and confidence; ready for the challenge. At your professional best.
7 interview hacks and pro preparation tips:
1. Perform due diligence.
Find out as much about the company as possible. Products, services, mission, causes, how the company developed, for example. Applicants familiar with a company make it easier to engage with an interviewer. On the other hand, interviewers prefer hiring those who take an interest in the company. Plus interviewers say it’s easier to determine if you sincerely want the job.
2. At least 4 of your skills must match the job.
Review the company’s ad and match your skills to the job. HR pros say you have zero chance of gaining an interview if your skills don’t closely match what’s required.
Familiarize yourself with the company’s culture and decide if it’s a fit for you. Expect an interviewer to spend 40-50% of the time on questions related to culture. In the end, say hiring pros, you’ll be chosen because it’s believed you’ll be a good culture fit.
4. Be prepared for a telephone interview.
More companies are using them to further screen out the unqualified. Have your resume updated and easily accessible when you receive the call. Decide which of your skills, which match job skills and requirements, you’ll discuss. Also, have a story to tell about a challenging project you completed; include sharable stats. Make no mistake — this is a win or lose situation.
5. Career Objectives.
Do yours fit with the company’s future plans-needs? If you simply want a job, and share that with an interviewer, you’ve immediately lost the job. You must have objectives which complement company plans in order to encourage them to buy into you.
No doubt about it. You’ll be asked ‘Tell me about yourself’. This isn’t the time to bore them with hobbies or golf scores. It’s prime time for a story about how you handled an important assignment, what went wrong, how you recovered and moved forward; what you learned from it. It must be factual, yet interesting; can even be funny. Storytelling is now an integral part of the interview process. Be prepared to tell two or three good stories to further engage the interviewer.
7. Answering – ”Why should we hire you?”
Briefly describe what you bring to the table – both required and soft skills – leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking skills, for example. Provide examples of how’ll this company will further benefit from hiring you. Tell them what you’ll achieve in 30-60-90 days.
Finally – Always send a thank-you note to an interviewer. They’re appreciated, make you more memorable; and help boost you up in an interviewer’s mind.
Submitted by: Jean L. Serio CEIC, CDI, CPC, CeMA