An interview for a job can be a nerve-wracking experience. The person who hasn’t made many changes isn’t familiar with what’s involved (and shouldn’t be), and the person who has made many changes isn’t either, otherwise they wouldn’t be making so many!
Preparing for the interview takes a lot of the pressure off of the situation. However, regardless of the level for which they are interviewing, 78 percent of all candidates wing it! And, as a result, they are routinely weeded out.
As with so much else in the interview, seemingly innocuous questions might catch you off guard. You think you’re answering them in the best possible way, but you’d be amazed how many people utterly miss the mark. It’s not enough to wish for a positive outcome in an interview. That effectively eliminates your potential to increase the probability of a positive outcome.
In response to the inquiry, “Why do you wish to work here?” for example. Some people may say things like:
“I’ve been in this industry for 15 years and have had a lot of success. I believe I can contribute to your organization. I have a track record of success as a leader. I saw in the media that your firm is having some issues, and I believe that my experience as a Director of the so-and-so.”
That answer may sound fine and appear adequate, but it only gets a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10!
Why? The response demonstrates a lack of research, thought, and deliberation. It has a generic sound to it and could be used by a variety of businesses. Overall, it’s a letdown.
As a recruiter, I’ve noticed that while mid-level management is more likely to UNDERanswerthe question, upper-level management is more likely to OVERanswer it. Due to a lack of experience, one group does not supply enough information. The other group has been around for a while, has worked their way up the corporate ladder in multiple companies, and to appear thoughtful, clever, and wise, they wind up saying very little.
Let’s take a deeper look.
WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN WORKING AT THIS COMPANY?
This is the section where you may show off your study. Tell the interviewer what you’ve learned about the company so far and why you’re interested in working there. The crucial word here is SPECIFICS.
Relate what you’ve learned about the firm, their focus, and their market to those specific examples from your experience. Examine your motivations and how they relate to any details you got through the ad, your recruiter, a friend who referred you, or where you discovered about this opportunity.
Perhaps their advertisement mentioned that they were looking to build a marketing department from the ground up. There’s your answer, along with instances of how you’ve expanded, established, or conducted market research in an analogous situation if you thrive on growth, challenges, and making things happen.
You might also wonder, “What if the company isn’t well-known? What if it’s a small, local business?” Right. Not every business is the scale of GE or even a regional public powerhouse that may be found in Dun & Bradstreet.
Preparing for the interview de-stresses the situation considerably. Yet, 78% of all candidates – regardless of the level for which they are interviewing – wing it! And frequently cause themselves…
However, most librarians will gladly assist you in locating any material that may be contained in one of their research books. The company may have been featured in local newspapers, and the library would have those as well. And nowadays, almost every business has a website.
Share what you can achieve and why you believe you can contribute to the company’s success. This is a question about how YOU can help the firm, not about how the company can help you.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
At this point, some interviews are lost. This is not an invitation to go on and on about everything that has happened to you since you were five years old or when you started your first job after college. It’s also not the time to shrug your shoulders and respond with a hasty one-sentence response.
Some people ramble, particularly those who haven’t prepared, and tend to babble when they’re nervous. Prepare a two- to three-minute spoken bio about your career, qualifications, and why you’re interested. Prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time.
REMEMBER THESE POINTS
“‘A’ candidates for ‘A’ firms, ‘B’ candidates for ‘B’ companies, and ‘C’ candidates for ‘C’companies,” we used to say in recruitment, and a ‘B’ candidate isn’t only someone with mediocre talents and track records; it’s also an ‘A’ applicant whose bad interviewing skills MAKE him a ‘B.’
Knowing who you are, what you want, what you have to offer, and what you’ve done – and having it all on the tip of your tongue – may make or break a job offer – not just for your dream job, but for any job.
To be able to pitch yourself, your expertise, and how you can help a potential firm, as well as clinch the transaction, you must first study and learn about the organization. It implies you know yourself well enough to be able to apply portions of your strengths to the specific facts and features of that INDIVIDUAL firm – and to do it without fumbling for words or winging it.
Last but not least, Dale Carnegie Training’s Peter Handal echoes the significance of interview preparation, including what most people consider to be stupid – role-playing. But, as he put it, “you only have one chance to create an excellent impression,” and if you don’t study and prepare carefully enough, someone else will, and that person will get the job!
Before each interview, do your homework! There is no second chance to create a good impression!