Ace the Interview
January 25, 2021 |
Things have been stagnant at work and you are thinking it is time to make a job change. You dust off the resume and start applying to some roles that catch your eye. Maybe you respond to a few recruiters, reach out to your trusted network or click the open to new opportunities button on Linkedin. Great news! Your efforts generate some positive responses and it is time for an interview. Here are 5 surefire ways to ace the interview and land a new job!
It is crucial to do your research on the company and industry. This will show the interviewer you are truly interested in working for the company, not simply shopping for your next role. Review different sources to get a better feel of the company from all angles including the company website, career page, social media, and industry websites. Linkedin is a great resource to review profiles of the people you will be meeting with and to check out the types of profiles who have been hired recently. Proper research will greatly increase your chances for success in the interview.
Even the most competent professionals can struggle to talk about daily tasks, responsibilities, accomplishments, and weaknesses because it is something we rarely do or practice. Prior to an interview is the perfect time to come up with a 30-60 second sales pitch highlighting strengths, accomplishments, and a quick summary of what you do well. Some practice will help you to smooth out the pitch and make it more effective and convincing.
It can also be helpful to rehearse answers to questions you are guaranteed to get during most interviews. Why are you looking to leave your current role? Why are you interested in our company? What is your most significant accomplishment? Are guaranteed to come up at some point in the interview process. Make sure to have a clear, concise, and thoughtful answer to these key questions.
Win the Interview
Winning the interview is something I talk about with passive candidates who might not be convinced that they are actually ready for a job change. As a result, they limp into the interview (think playing 5-8 off suit in a game of Texas Hold’em) and come off to the hiring manager as a candidate who is not enthusiastic about the company/job and not really serious about making a change. The feedback almost always comes back negative and the candidate loses an opportunity to evaluate whether the job might be the right move for them. Instead of being passive or uncertain in the process, try to WIN the interview. Give the interview all of your energy and best effort and impress the interview team and get the offer. Then you have the difficult decision to accept the offer, stay in your current role, or keep looking for something more interesting. If you are not committed to winning the interview, you are probably wasting your time.
It is crucial to develop a connection with the interviewer. Research ahead, listen to their responses to questions and try to find something in common from past experience, school, or interests. Most importantly be yourself! We often hear feedback that candidates answer questions the way they should rather than the way they really feel. Be yourself and answer questions honestly and truthfully so the interview team can get to know who you really are. This will allow you to connect with the interview team and increase your chances of being hired. Teams hire likable people they feel like they know and trust. If you can connect with the interviewer and hiring team on a more personal level your interview is more likely to have a successful outcome.
We hear consistent feedback from hiring managers expressing concern when candidates do not have any questions at the end of the interview. This can show a lack of interest, curiosity and can be a missed opportunity to engage with the interview team and learn valuable information about the role. Prepare 3-4 solid questions for the interview team related to the job, team, and company. If you have more questions that you need to be answered spread them amongst different interviews or save them for a follow-up meeting. Do not ask any questions related to compensation, benefits, remote work, etc. This is important information but should be left for the offer stage when the company has decided you are the right person for the job.
Try to grab a business card or contact info from the team before leaving the interview. Make sure to follow up after the interview and send a brief thank you to the interview team for taking the time to meet with you. Avoid an essay on why you are a great person for the job. Keep it brief with a quick thank you and confirm your interest in the next steps.
Hope these tips will help you ace your next interview. If I can help in any way with interview prep don’t hesitate to reach out.