What You Need to Do DURING the Interview to Guarantee Success

How to get a job, interview help, job advice

Now the final part in the interview series.  In case you missed the first two parts, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

You know how to prepare for the interview and some of the behaviors to use during the interview.  In part 3 I’m going to teach you how to give a winning interview.

The Company

When you are chosen to interview, the company has already decided that you have the skills necessary to perform the job.  The purpose of the interview is to determine if you are a fit for the company and the team.

career advice, resume advice, interview skills

To win over the interviewer, you need to convince them that the company has won you over.  Do your research.  Find out everything you can about the company.

You need to know who their competitors are and more about the industry.  What do they sell?  Who do they sell too?

Then you should learn about the particular group or division that you are interviewing for.

Once you do that, you will have a better idea of how this new role will fit into the company.

Tell Me About Yourself

After the interviewer introductions, the next step is to talk about your self.  The interviewer will typically ask you to take them through all of your experience on your resume.

Career skills, career advice, resume advice, interview skills

Your interview will be won or lost during this crucial period.

  1. First, you need to prepare for this question days in advance.  This is not something that you can just “wing”.  It will define how the rest of the interview will go.
  2. Second, you should spend between 3 and 5 minutes going through everything.  Any shorter, and it will seem like your experience is not as extensive as it should be.  Any longer, you will loose their attention and appear as if you’re rambling.
  3. Next, describe yourself as the perfect candidate.  Talk about the parts of your past positions that are the most similar to the one you’re applying for.  The interviewer needs to feel like you have already done the job they are interviewing you for.  Do not spent time going through the experience that does not apply to this job.  You should understand what the hiring manager needs so you can present yourself as the solution.

Tell Me About a Time

Almost every interview that I’ve done included one of these questions.  The interviewer asks you to tell them about a time you did something great and another time when you failed at something.

When talking about your accomplishments, you can mention something that may already be on your resume, but go into more detail.  Or you can take the opportunity to bring up something they may not know about you.

For your failure, they are looking for a few things as you answer this question.  First, they want to know how you handle acknowledging a failure.  Are you able to admit failure or are you full of excuses?

Second, they want to know how you solved the problem.  You need to demonstrate that you are resourceful, act quickly and intelligently.

Lastly, they are looking to see that you have grown from the experience.  What have you done to ensure that won’t happen again?

Ask Questions

At the end of the interview, you are given the opportunity to ask questions about the position.  The questions that you ask will help you make an impression on the interviewer.

Interview Advice, interview skills, career advice, career tips, resume advice
Job Interview

Asking questions, and asking the right questions, accomplishes a few things:

  1. It shows that you’re interested in the position.  It separates you from the people who just want the job for short-sighted reasons.  The interviewer wants to hire someone actually interested in the particulars of the job.  There are people who want a new job simply to escape their current job or make more money.
  2. Next, asking questions shows that you’ve taken the time to prepare for this interview.  It demonstrates your ability to plan and prepare for things that are important.  If you can’t handle this, why would they hire you and trust you to do a good job in the new role.
  3. Finally, asking the RIGHT questions shows your expertise.  In order to ask the right questions about the new role, you need to have some general knowledge about it.  This implies that you’ve already done your research.

This is where doing your research will pay off.  If you are familiar with the company and the department, you can have an informed discussion about them.  Being able to intelligently discuss them will make you more memorable and the hiring manager can already picture you in the role.

So remember…

Do your research

Practice your narrative

Prepare your accomplishments and failures

Ask questions

If you do these things well, you will have an effective and memorable interview.  That is the key to getting a job offer.

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