The interview stage is so exciting! It’s the final step to landing that job you’ve been wanting. You’ve convinced someone via your resume and telephone interview that you might be the person they’ve been searching for. Basically, you’ve done a great job of marketing yourself so far.
Now comes the most important part: You have to complete the final sale of yourself and your talents. However, interviewing ability doesn’t come naturally for most of us. This makes a lot of sense; after all, you probably haven’t practiced with lots of interviews in your lifetime.
For an impressive interview, focus on these three keys to a great performance:
1. Preparation is critical. Great performances require great preparation. And great preparation requires time. The interview room isn’t the place to try to remember your responsibilities at company XYZ.
* Higher-level managers frequently ask potential employees, “What were your three most critical tasks?” You should be prepared to answer a similar question without hesitation.
* Sit down and go through the last 10 years of your employment. List all your responsibilities and accomplishments. Have your answers ready. If you have to pause and think hard during the interview, it may seem like you’re inventing a story.
* Reflect on answers to these questions: What successes did you have? How many people reported to you? You will certainly be asked about what challenges you had, so be prepared to list a few and how you overcame them.
* Also, research the company to which you’re applying. They want to know that you’re interested and that you’re making an educated decision about what you’re potentially getting yourself into.
2. Be authentic. One thing interviewers like to see is someone who is genuine.
* Let go of the idea that you have to be perfect. Interviewees frequently twist and contort the truth in an attempt to appear more favorable. This is extremely difficult to pull off successfully in a high-stress environment like an interview.
* Be honest. Coming across as authentic is largely a function of being consistent. This is easy when you’re honest. Interviewers will frequently continue to pursue a line of questioning when something doesn’t seem right.
3. Practice selling yourself. What are your strengths? What are you good at? And more importantly, how can you convey those in an interview? Selling yourself without bragging is a fine line, but the interviewer needs to see the things at which you’re great.
* Pull out the video camera and record yourself while a friend or family member interviews you.
* Solo, you can record yourself going over your resume and work experience.
* Consider joining a Toastmasters club. You can get a lot of practice and feedback.
* Confidence and comfort come from practice. Give yourself the opportunity to be successful and practice daily.
Interviewing is a necessary final step to getting the job you desire. Following these tips will go a long way towards preparing you.
Don’t worry if you’re not a great interviewee. Few people naturally are. But with some preparation, you can become very good, very quickly. That practice will really give you the upper hand against your competition.