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Step 6: The Interview….

Step 1: So, You’re Looking For a Job…
Step 2: What’s Your Plan…?
Step 3: What’s Your Value…?
Step 4: Who Do You Know…?
Step 5: How Do People See You…?

You are trying to achieve two goals in an interview. The first is to ensure that the interviewers understand how your talents will fit into their organizations as their best choice. The other goal is to get an understanding of how well you’ll fit in culturally and how you will enjoy and thrive in the work environment. The worst thing you could do is to focus on one goal and not the other. It’s a balance between your needs and theirs, both parties must benefit. Never forget that we spend at least 8 hours a day (more like 10 to 12 in many cases) at work so we better be around people that we like and respect, doing things that satisfy us; Otherwise, its difficult to just get up in the morning.

By the time you have interviews scheduled, you should have a strong understanding of what you want from a job and what your lifestyle should be. This self analysis has identified specific skills and strengths that you’ve learned and practiced. Taylor your resume to the specific job and the company that you’re pursuing. You should focus the interview on these exhibited skills which make you the best candidate for the job. Provide specific examples (this should be easy with the work you’ve done in the self-discovery phase). At the end of the day, a good resume, professional cloths, and a nice watch won’t get you the job. You need to make sure that you explain how you will increase the company’s revenue or decrease their cost. The interviewer must be convinced that you have experience doing what they need done. Don’t be pushy and absolutely don’t oversell your experience. They have to be comfortable and happy to see your face every day.

Ask the questions you’ve identified (and had written down) that’s important. When you enter an interview let the interviewer lead. They have an agenda and an idea of how the meeting should go. Follow the interviewer’s lead and it will help you prioritize and structure your responses as well as help you better understand the needs of the organization. You’ll be giving great examples from your past that show what you can do. They want to know whether you have the right experience.

Hopefully, there is time at the end of the interview to ask about what is important to you. If not, ask to schedule some time to understand the work environment and culture. If they don’t have time for you now, and won’t make time, they are showing you what it will be like to work there. When you do get the time, walk through your questions. Make certain that your tone and demeanor are upbeat and nonjudgmental. Make no assumptions.

In every aspect of your search you should be practicing the highest level of professionalism. The interview is the stage with the most scrutiny. Be careful not to use slang and practice being succinct. Don’t be too aggressive about telling your story. Focus on making this a comfortable “give and take” discussion. If you’re nervous or uncomfortable try to determine the source. If its because you really want this job, then fine, but if it is because of the demeanor of the interviewer or the atmosphere of the office you know this could be an ongoing problem. Just make certain that you like and respect the people that you’d work with, the cultural atmosphere will bring out the best in you professionally, and you can deliver (or exceed) on what is asked of you.

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1 comment to Step 6: The Interview….

  • The interview is an absolutely critical part of getting any job. It is hard to overstate the importance of being prepared for the interview. It is best to find friends that you can practice with, who will work with you to help you do a good job of preparation.
    In the interview it is normally wise to focus on what you can do for them. How will you help them meet their goals. If you can, it is a very strong move to come into the interview with a plan for how you would approach the job in the first 30, 60 and 90 days. Of course this requires that you research the position you are applying for through all means available to you. Including web information, as well as friends and acquaintences who work in the area in which you are applying.
    At the end of the interview, if you are still interested in the position, and would take the position if offered, (and the terms work out) tell the interviewer that. Essentially ask the person for the job. Let them know that you are very interested in moving forward.
    After the interview, it is a very good idea to follow up with the people who interviewed you. But be careful, there is a fine line between follow-up and pestering. Always add value in follow up communications with the people with whom you interviewed. Dont just say thank you for your time, and I want the job. But say thank you for your time and add a clarification around something specific that you discussed with the person or some new information that did not come to light in the interview. Clarify points that you think may not have been clear in your responses to interview questions. Help them with info that would make it easier for them to say you are their number one choice in candidates.

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