star-studded CV is all well and good but if you don’t pass the face to face test it can all be for nothing. Well, there’s some positive news as drawing on my experiences from a plethora of interviews good and bad, I can give you some pieces of advice I’d have liked to know sooner.
The first thing to say is that it’s important to change your perception of a job interview straight off the bat. Consider of-course, that you are being interviewed for a position at the company but also that the spotlight shines both ways.
You need to be impressed with the professionalism and vision of the interviewer, the role and feel of the business needs to match what you’re looking for, by understanding that this is a two-way street can take some of the weight off your shoulders.
For all the interviewer knows, this is one of many positions you’ve applied for and they need to showcase to you why you should want to work here.
Next is another mindset technique that should give you confidence and it concerns the motivation of the company looking to hire. Remember that there is a vacancy for a reason, either there is a position that needs filling or the business has identified an area for growth.
Since you’ve reached the interview stage you have already given the company reason to believe that you could be the person to fill that vacancy/aid that growth.
The interviewer is looking for every sign that is the case.
They’re not looking to catch you out, there’s no value in that to them, they’re ready to be impressed, they want to hear the right things and they want to hire you, not the reverse.
One particular question that stumped me the first time I was asked it in an interview setting was ‘What is your greatest weakness’?
I thought ‘Wow, I know all my weaknesses but I don’t want to say them now do I’?
In the end, after ruling out anything too severe, and rejecting a trivial response like I can’t walk past the cookie jar without dipping my hand in I opted out of answering the question, something I wouldn’t recommend.
The trick here though is to: position a strength as a weakness.
For example, you might be so much of a perfectionist that you can’t rest until you’ve achieved a task to the highest standard.
Finally, be personable, reflect on previous accomplishments and the skills you’ve developed. Give specific examples of when you’ve shown resilience and good team play.
Emphasise the positives of course but know that outright lies will be exposed.
After every interview your technique will improve and you’ll gain more confidence for the next one to come.
Do your due diligence on the company and its values as well as the interviewer themselves, a skim-read of their LinkedIn page should give you the chance to sprinkle in some personal touches that show you’re well prepared.
Other than that believe in yourself, this is your time to shine, rise to the occasion, don’t conjure up negative scenarios in your mind, think of the potential reward for you if everything goes right.