Five qualities you must show in an interview

Try to picture yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and you should be able to gain a better understanding of how a potential employer thinks when conducting an interview. This is crucial in order to turn this critical meeting into a job offer. There certainly is a lot more to convey than just covering that you can do the job.

No matter what your profession, skill level, or current place in the professional world, every job interviewer will be evaluating you against the same basic set of criteria. Master how you present yourself against these five main points will dramatically improve your odds at receiving an offer.

The First Key: Capability and Chemistry
Successful candidates who receive job offers are always the ones who prove themselves capable and suitable to the environment; capable in that they can do the job, and suitable in that they understand the individual role their position plays in making a contribution to the overall bottom line. Each of us, as working professionals has a combination of skills that broadly defines our capability and personality traits and determines the work environment in which we best excel. It is useful to itemize your technical and professional skills and personality traits in relation to the requirements of a job, then to recall incidents that profile each of these skills and traits. These day-to-day illustrations of you at work, doing the job successfully, allow the interviewer to picture you behaving in the same way on his or her team.

The Second Key: Think of yourself as a problem-solver
Jobs do not get created for the sake of it; rather positions are created when the job will somehow help contribute to the profitability of a company. Another way of looking at this is to say that people get hired to prevent problems from occurring within their particular area of influence, through their professionalism and industry knowledge, and to solve them when they do occur. In reality, this is the first and most important part of the unwritten job description for any job. A simple illustration we can all relate to would be the receptionist: without them, calls would go unanswered and that company’s business would slowly grind to a halt. So regardless of job or profession, we are all, at some level, problem solvers.

Think of your job in terms of its problem-solving role and responsibilities. By identifying the particular problem-solving role you are in, you will have gone a long way toward isolating what the interviewer will want to talk about. You might identify the typical issues you handle on a daily basis. Come up with plenty of specific examples and recall how you solved them. These steps can help you to develop useful problem-solving examples from all areas of your responsibility.
*State a problem or situation you typically face in your job that required your special efforts.
*Share relevant background information and the tasks’ needed to resolve the challenge.
*List the actions and professional behaviors that you employed to provide a solution.
*Outline and quantify the results in terms of impact to the organizations bottom line, such as, money earned, money or time saved.

With plenty of these types of examples at hand, you can use them to effectively illustrate your answers to those tough interview questions. Additionally, when you ask about the initial tasks that will need your immediate attention in the early months of the job, you show that you are focused on the problem solving elements of the job. This type of question will also get you the information necessary to give answers more carefully tailored to the employer’s immediate concerns.

The Third Key: Your Professional Conduct
You’ve seen the t-shirt or sign before that read: YOUR MOTHER DOESN’T WORK HERE, PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF. It’s a reminder that in order to succeed, it’s necessary to have and develop a whole set of professional behaviors. Making employers aware of behaviors that make you effective in your work, like time management, communication and analytical skills increase your odds of receiving a job offer. However, simple statements don’t leave a lasting impression; illustrations that show you employ these professional behaviors in the work environment do leave that lasting impression.

The Fourth Key: Show Motivation
In a tightly run job race, when there is little separating the two top candidates, the offer will always go to the most motivated.

When you communicate that you want the job, demonstrate that you can do it and show your enthusiasm for that job and the company. You make the hiring decision that much easier, because the interviewer will correctly surmise that a more motivated employee will turn in a better performance.

The Fifth Key: Manageability and Teamwork
Avoiding nightmare employees is a major concern for employers. They are looking for any little sign of it during the interview process. Being “manageable” and a team player is defined in different ways: the ability to work alone; the ability to work with others; the ability to take direction and criticism when it is carefully and considerately given; and the ability to take direction when it isn’t carefully and considerately given.

Show yourself as a team player with your every word and action. Make sure to identify your role as a team member when you answer interview questions. Don’t forget to insert the pronoun “we” when appropriate. If you are asked how you handle criticism, explain that you listen, confirm understanding and agree on a course of action and follow-through on it.

Another aspect of teamwork is the ability to work well with a diverse workforce in terms of their sex, age, religion, appearance, disabilities or ethnicity. Don’t bring up these issues during a job interview. Even the most casual reference to such topics demonstrates insensitivity to the rights of others and will likely put a question mark to your candidacy.

With knowledge of these five tips you have the needed secrets to take to the interview. Mesh this knowledge into how you prepare for and answer questions, and you will reap the rewards of a polished interview performance.

Good luck!
David Lammert

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