You’ve finally received that call or email notifying you that a face to face interview is coming. It’s finally here and if you’re like most people, that familiar nervous rattle sets upon you. It seems that you are finally going to be gainfully employed. Perhaps you’re like some people who are scared that they really might get that job. Why this conundrum? The fact is you really need a job to survive, pay the bills and make something of yourself in the process. Perhaps this long lull of a lockdown has dulled our sense of preparedness for actual job prospects.
In this week’s post, we will delve into some important points prior to the interview but the single most important thing that you need to deal with is your mindset. Nothing is more critical than that. Mindset determines preparedness and the outcome.
There are of course some obvious preparations which need no explanation such as:
1. Come before time.
2. Research about their company.
3. Prepare questions for them.
4. Dress Professionally-with fingernails trimmed
5. Smell good too: subdued perfume or cologne
6. Check your breath too-Brush, Floss, Gargle. As you don’t want your breath to smell like fried noodles.
7. Get a good night’s sleep so that your eyes don’t look sunk the next day.
8. Leave your house early to avoid any traffic jams.
9. Bring copies of your resume and other necessary stuff.
Having the correct mindset portrays a different you – a prepared you. You appear better, stronger and more able to take on the work. You will project confidence and a ‘can do’ persona making you a ‘go to’ person for any challenge. Have the right perspective by presenting yourself in a way that the employer believes that you are the answer to their problems. Experience is just the proof to support your abilities and qualifications come after that. Conduct yourself in a manner that makes them believe that they can work with you and that they want you on their team. Ask relevant questions that pertain to the challenges they are facing-as outlined in the next point. More can be said here, but we’ll leave those for another time.
Company research is extremely important. Just imagine if they asked you, “What do you know about us that you want to work with us?”
Just do the following for research:
a. Go to their website and look up their organisational structure to see who is in charge. Also, look up their projects, company mission, vision and their philosophy.
b. Check out their social media pages to see what they have been up to in the last one year. What they have been promoting or trying to do including their associations with others.
c. Look up the news section on Google search. This will show you what’s the latest news involving the company such as mergers or joint ventures with other companies. You will have an idea of what they have been trying to do or what problems they were trying to solve. It will also tell you where you can come in and be part of that solution. The above 3 areas alone will give you plenty of prior awareness about them and strong questions to bring into the discussion – which is really your goal, to turn the interview into a discussion of how to solve their problems.
d. One more thing to note.
The more an employer talks, the more he is interested.
The next thing that may probably happen in such discussions is what you really want. The employer will start talking at length about his plans and what he wants to do. This is inside information and obviously, you have to listen intently but take note that the more an employer talks, the more he is interested in the topic and in you. Be a good listener at this point and take copious notes. It could signal that you have been shortlisted. Your questions and awareness have got his attention.
Only when you can demonstrate that by asking and saying the right things, then you can show that you truly understand the challenges that the employer is facing. This way you can present yourself as the solution.
3. Know and understand why they’re hiring.
Understand that employers can be selfish. The reason that they are hiring somebody like you is because they have an ongoing problem and you should be the ongoing solution. That is the basic equation. Everything else comes after this.
4. Candidate or consultant?
When you step inside that room, carry and conduct yourself like a consultant and step away from that “I need a job” look. Sit up with your shoulders back. Have a commanding presence and when you speak, do it confidently, with the right train of thought.
5. Remember that you are the product – STAR
Prepare yourself- Situation, Task, Action, Result
Choose a few focus points (3 to 4 accomplishments as stated in your resume) to share and discuss about times when you navigated your company or department out of situations by deploying the right tasks and actions to produce favourable results. Some of the most difficult crises in which you were tested and come out on top.
Sell yourself as if you are the product that they should buy. If you’ve noticed the current trend, your personal contacts on social media and the like are shared to online vendors. Banks look for you while you are in your late twenties and thirties as they understand your purchasing power during your youthful time. You are also rated by them as a good or bad customer by your financial routines. In short, you’ve become the most commercially viable product.
6. Make the connection. Aptitude and body language
As we said, walk and sit with a good posture. Connect and resonate with them on common issues like the challenges in your line of work. That shouldn’t be a problem right? You know your industry as well as anyone else but if you re-explore yourself, you may be able to offer more solutions, such as genuine accountability and the ability to see through work to the end in the midst of challenges, the necessary but elusive qualities of a leader. Don’t forget to look them in the eye and offer a firm handshake.
7. Don’t forget your passion. Bring it with you
Passion which is distinctive will set you apart from the rest. A youthful drive and some down to earth enthusiasm to get things done is not only found on the resume but it shows in your personality and presence.
Better still, just tell them you want the job. Tell them that you want to contribute to their success, work on their projects and that you like what they are doing in the marketplace. Touch base strongly and set yourself apart as you anticipate their needs before heading over to that interview!