Getting Yourself Hired by a Great Company: Five Techniques for Mastering Job Interviews

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A terrific job interview is about the employer and their problems – not about what you want or need.  The employer has a problem and is looking for you to solve it. They need someone for a variety of reasons but whatever their reasons – they are looking for someone to solve a problem, and you have to show how are the optimal person to do that for the company, given this specific situation.

Finding out first what problems the company has is the best strategy. Start by thinking how you can help troubleshoot and provide what they need and move the interview forward using this approach.

Act like you are part of the team now.  Offer stories about how you have been effective in previous roles and how that applies to their current issues. Never talk about “We” or the team you worked with before. Use “I” and take credit for solutions you have come up with.

Answer questions directly. Don’t just answer with affirmative and negative responses but rather give some of the details. Be brief  and let them ask for more detail or ask them if they would like more detail after you have given your less-detailed answer. Look at their body language and see when they appear interested or bored and follow through accordingly.

When asked for details, use this tell your anecdotes with relevant facts. Show off your experience by illustrating them with 3 to 5 minute examples of things you have done in your previous career. Never bore your interviewer by overwhelming them. Stories are more memorable that lots of facts and figures, but keep them somewhat brief.

Stay organized and don’t be a passive answerer of questions. Take control of the interview to the extent that you know your agenda. Don’t think of this as a job interview but rather as a sales presentation. You are selling the one thing you know more about than anyone and everyone else in the world, you are selling yourself. This is no time for excessive modesty. On the other hand, humility, when it does not take away from your presentation, can be an endearing trait, so balance these two against each other.

 

 

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