Give Them What They Want (Part 2)

A few weeks back I shared some familiar themes which I hear from candidates. There are candidates that are both happily employed and otherwise, and all have strong opinions about what they seek from leadership in the workplace environment.

As promised then, today I want to share common themes and feedback I receive from hiring authorities and Human Resource Professionals about what successful candidates do and say in interviews.

1) Show up well prepared.
Who do you think get’s more job offers, better qualified candidates or better prepared candidates? Candidates who come prepared for an interview, that have completed research, rehearsed questions and responses and can articulate themselves, will beat out a well qualified candidate who has not done their homework every time.

2) Ask great questions!
Be prepared to ask focused, intelligent, and compelling questions. You must go beyond the basic, and instead ask important questions like “why is the position available”? Identify issues and problems that need to be solved and present well-thought out solutions after you have gained the necessary information. Don’t fall victim to your preconceived notions about the job.

3) Visualize yourself as part of the team during the interview.
No need to share proprietary information: just engage as though you are already collaborating to solve challenges. This can be effectively done in one-on-one interviews as well as panel interviews. Inquiring about what issues need your immediate attention after hiring is a great way to do this.

4) Be willing to tell your interviewer…”I don’t know but, I am willing to learn”.
Red flags go up and sirens go off when a candidate can not admit or identify weaknesses. We all have strengths and areas of weakness. Your potential employer just wants to know what yours are going in. You will gain respect, more often than not, if you can identify yours and cite examples of your effort to correct or improve it.

5) Answer all questions as directly as possible.
One of the quickest ways to be eliminated from consideration is to avoid answering questions. If needed, ask for clarification. Then, provide an answer to the question. This goes back to my original point of practice and preparation. The more preparation you do, the less likely you will be asked a question that you will have trouble answering.

I hope you will find this feedback helpful the next time you have an interview.

Good luck!
David Lammert

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