One of the biggest mistakes I see job
seekers making during this crisis is failing to prepare adequately for
interviews. Given the incredible amount of competition for open positions, now
is not the time to fail to prepare.
If you want to be taken seriously and stand
out in this competitive job market, you need to put a significant amount of
focus on your interview preparation.
is what you need to know…
Interview prep starts BEFORE you apply.The moment you
start applying, you should be ready for the unexpected call from a recruiter
saying, “can we talk right now?” Saying no will cost you the interview because
they have 100 more people after you they can contact.
Many job seekers make the mistake of waiting
until an interview is scheduled to start preparing and fail to take into
account that a recruiter could call at any moment. Beyond the unexpected call
from a recruiter, it’s just smart to start preparing for the interview as
soon as you begin the job search process. There are some common interview
questions that are universal, and you can always tailor your responses based on
the job you’re applying to.
Each type of interview is different. It’s important to
know your audience! Recruiters screen you for basic fit. Hiring managers screen
you to see if you’ll make their life easier or harder. HR wants to make sure
you are a cultural fit. CEOs want to make sure you are worth the
money. Knowing how to address each person in the interview process you
meet with is part of making sure you get chosen as the right person.
Thank you doesn’t mean “sell yourself.”Sending a
thank-you note after every interview is a must-do. You should also try to send
one to each person in the hiring process. That said, these are short notes
meant to show you have good manners. It is not the time to try to sell them or
recap your strengths. This comes across as pushy, or even worse, desperate.
Behavioral questions are meant to get inside your head. A
series of open-ended questions are often asked as a way to understand how you
think. Employers use behavioral questions to assess your personality and depth
of knowledge. It’s important to research some of the most
common behavioral interview questions, and practice by writing down your
responses. I recommend that you use the Experience + Learn = Grow when
crafting your responses. This includes outlining a professional experience
related to the question, talking about what you learned from the experience,
and how you grew from it professionally. Failing to practice will make your
answers sound scattered or weak.
Asking good questions is as important as answering them.Employers
want to know you’ve done your homework. They also want to see you are assessing
them as much as they are assessing you. Asking the right questions will show
your intelligence and expertise. Asking the wrong ones will reveal your
“No” doesn’t mean “never.”If you don’t get the job, don’t
give up on the relationship. Ask what you can do to stay in touch for future
opportunities. Especially if you are a finalist. You never know when another
role will pop up. And in some cases, the person they hired doesn’t work out,
giving you the chance to swoop in and save the day.
How you perform during the job interview
process will play a major role in your professional future. The process should
be taken extremely seriously and treated with the respect that it deserves.