You’re highly qualified for the position that you are interviewing for, but so are the other candidates who are being interviewed. What can you say that will demonstrate to employers that you have something more than just your qualifications that are documented on your resume? With organizations interviewing several candidates for one position and conducting multiple interviews with each candidate, how can you distinguish yourself?
If you are not sure how you can show employers that you are a good fit for their organizations, then read on. Here are some tips for acing the interview that go beyond having a firm handshake and good eye contact:
- Speak directly to the requirements of the vacancy announcement. It is easy to ramble when you get into an interview, especially if you are nervous. But part of your preparation needs to include thoroughly analyzing the job posting and thinking through how you will talk about your experience as it relates to the requirements of the job. When you have specific talking points that clearly demonstrate how your skills and experience align with what the employer is looking for, you make a strong case for the employer hiring you.
- Show interest in what the interviewer is saying. One trap that you as the job seeker can fall into is focusing so heavily on what you need to say to convince the employer that you are the one that you don’t pay enough attention to what the interviewer is sharing with you. So you need to practice good listening skills in the interview.
- Have specific examples of what you have done ready to share with the interviewer. You should be ready to back up any claims that you make about your skills with specifics. Simply stating that you have great management skills, for example, in and of itself does not prove anything. Before the interview you should think about specific times when you used your management skills to turn around or head off a potentially negative situation. A story will give you much more credibility than simply stating that you have a skill.
- Think of behavioral questions that you will probably be asked. Behavioral questions are quite common in interviews nowadays. That means you should be prepared for them. These types of questions usually start with, “Tell me about a time when…” or What would you do if?” Again, you need to analyze the job posting to get some clues as to what types of behavioral questions you might be asked. So if the job posting mentions that the candidate needs to have great customer service skills, a question that an interviewer might ask is, “Tell me about a time when you had an angry customer. How did you satisfy this person’s needs?”
- Weave information from the research that you have done on the company into your responses. It is expected that you will research the company prior to the interview. But instead of stating overtly that you have done your research, it is more effective to make that information part of your questions when it is your turn to ask questions of the interviewer. So for example, if you know from your research that there is a new initiative that is pending, you could ask, “Could you tell me what role the person in this position will play with the XYZ initiative?” You are subtly letting the interviewer know that you have done your homework while at the same time asking a good question.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer that show your interest in the position. No doubt the interviewer will ask you, “Do you have any questions?” The quality of the questions that you ask speaks volumes about your preparedness as well as your actual interest in the job. Here are a couple of sample questions that you can ask. What is your top priority for the person who will fill this position for the next 90 days? What would you say are the ingredients that would determine the success of the person that you hire for this position?
If you follow these tips, you will be in a good position to land that job that you really want.
*Need help acing that next interview? A certified career coach can analyze your weaknesses and prep you so that you can confidently share with interviewers what you have to offer. Call 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.