Interviewing is like any other learned skill in this world.
It’s not something that you are born good at. You’ve got to develop this skillset. And you need to develop your interviewing skills. How well a candidate interviews for a job is of unrivaled importance. Resumes are a piece of paper. They’re lifeless. In and of themselves, they don’t convey competence, ability, or strength for any qualifications. Don’t get me wrong, resumes are important and you shouldn’t overlook their value. But by themselves, they likely won’t get you hired.
“What will get you hired nearly every time is a strong interview performance. A resume can get you in the door. But an interview can get you hired.”
In fact, even if you don’t get hired, if you have a strong interview for a position, you are more likely to get hired for other positions within the company or to be at the top of the list for the next opening in that area. Few things can go as far as a strong in-person interview. So prepare for them.
Here are a few tips you can use to get yourself prepared:
- Research your company and your interviewer (if you know who it will be). This is a simple step that anyone with internet access can do, and surprisingly, taking the time to do this can help set you a part to your interviewer. Not only does it display the fact that you have the ability to take initiative, but it shows the interviewer that you respected the opportunity to interview and took it seriously. Remember: Most people who are in charge of interviewing for the company have a lot of interviews, they don’t want to waste time on unqualified or unprepared candidates. Help set yourself a part by performing your due diligence.
- Know what position you are interviewing for and what the expectations for success are in that role. You may need to find and reach out to a current employee in that role if you don’t have much luck searching online. But there is almost always someone who you can track down that will help you out. It’s amazing how receptive most people are to this if you are sincere and considerate of their time and their help.
- Be confident. It’s not always easy to be confident during high-pressure situations such as an interview, but proper preparation will help you get there. Remember, most interviewers are trying to weed-out candidates during this process, but you wouldn’t be there if they didn’t think you were at least minimally qualified for that job. So use that knowledge to your advantage. Properly prepare for your interview, research the company, the job, and interviewer, and come prepared with your own questions. Pay attention during the interview to discover other questions you will need answer. An interview is a two-way street, you are also interviewing this company. Employment is a relationship. You want to commit to a good relationship. You should be just as concerned about making sure this job is the right fit for you, as they employer is about finding out if you are the right fit for the job. It’s your job to convince the employer that your salary will be an investment, and that they will be happy to have you – and this is where you do that. There’s no limit the value of a strong interview. So practice, practice, practice.
- A strong interview can help you negotiate a higher salary and even details of your job description. Jobs that people love doing rarely “just happen”. An interview can be used to help shape your job description if you can communicate why those changes or new ideas bring value to their company. If you want something great, it’s on you to start making it. Your interview can set the stage for your entire employment relationship with that company. And you only get one shot at it. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Strong Interview
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