3 Foolproof Tips To Help You Take Control of Your Next Interview
Have you ever experienced this? You walked into your interview full of excitement, eager to share your qualifications, ready for your moment to shine. You walked out of the interview feeling, well-confused. What in the world just happened in there? Where was your moment to shine? Why all the strange questions that seemingly have nothing to do with the job at hand? Questions like, “What color best describes you”? How in the world is that relevant? Sometimes interviews can take the wackiest, most unexpected turns. It is frustrating when you’ve spent three days outlining your greatest workplace accomplishments and you don’t even get the chance to share them. You know why you would be perfect for the job, but after that interview, do they? Over the course of my recruiting career…I have always found that the best candidates use an interview to take the offensive and ensure they get the opportunity to put their best foot forward. Try using these 3 Tips To Help You Take Control of Your Next Interview:
1. Tell them about yourself. More often than not, your interview is going to start out a little something like this “Tell me about yourself”. Although this ambiguous, dangerously broad question can be difficult to tackle (How much of your life story do they want? Just recent career info is the rule of thumb), there is a foolproof way to use it to your advantage. Respond with this:
“I’d be happy to. Could you share with me the three main objectives you’d like the person you hire to achieve? This way, I can provide you some specific examples from my background that will help you determine if I am a good fit for the role.”
This answer will give the interviewer the information they really want to have, keep the interview focused and help determine if you are the right person for the job. After all, isn’t that what this is about?
2. Recognize the phone interview as an equalizer. This is the perfect opportunity to use your own “cheat sheet”-the interviewer can’t see you, so go ahead and spread your notes out and use them as a helpful reference. Before your interview, create a list of key accomplishments you want to share. Keep your answers under 90 seconds, and showcase your personality, style and expertise. Smile while on the phone. Dress like you are attending the interview in person. It will keep you in a positive, focused mindset, and help you deliver your presentation with confidence and professionalism.
3. You think it went well… When speaking with candidates after an interview they will often tell me “I thought it went well but, I am not sure.” They often feel as if they should have shared more during the interview. Veteran hiring managers generally have good poker faces and don’t offer clues during interviews. So, it is best to end with two important questions:
“Are there any questions for me that we didn’t get to?”
“What are the next steps in this process?”
Practice asking these questions if you need to…your word choice and tonality are important here. You aren’t trying to identify if they have objections or questions about your fit or moving to the next steps. You don’t want to infer doubt or negativity. Your questions should be confident and positive…the perfect tone on which to end every interview.
No one likes to come away from an interviewing wondering if they shared the right information, wondering if the interviewer even knows why they are a good candidate, wondering what exactly happened in there… These tips and techniques have worked for my candidates and I know they can work for you too. What are some other tips that have worked for you that you would like to share with our readers?