When it comes to job interviews, I have been on both sides of the table several times. I can identify with some of the nerve-wracking challenges that a job candidate may face during an interview. On the other hand, as an interviewer, I have also shared the frustrations of an interview panel.
Today, I’m addressing you, Dear Job-Seeker, and I’m starting with a truth: When a person or a group of people sit to interview you, please understand that they are truly searching for someone to fill a role. They are not there to go through the motions or waste time. In fact, they probably had to leave their busy desks and schedules just to make the time to meet with you. So, it can be quite frustrating to find candidates who are not prepared or ready to work.
There’s more to an interview than the ‘tell-me-about-yourself’ part of it (actually, interviewers already have your necessary bio-data from your resume, that’s usually just to break the ice and see how well you communicate). The real juice of the interview is about deciding if you’re that person who will take ownership of the position and help the organisation to achieve their goals.
These steps (which you must take before the day of the interview) will help you to make a great impression and possibly get the position.
One: Research and understand the organisation. We shouldn’t have to say this, but I have seen and heard of candidates who turn up blank when asked about the organisation. That’s simply inexcusable in this day of the availability of the internet. It shows not a lack of diligence, enthusiasm and respect. Don’t just read their website either; find them in the news and on social media and see what they are up to.
Two: Research and understand the industry of the organisation. Apart from learning about the organisation itself, learn about the industry in which they operate and see how well they seem to be doing (or not doing) in that industry.
Three: Understand your potential role within the organisation. Well, you have obviously applied to fill a gap in the organisation. Now, consider what you understand to be the goals of the organisation and match them to your own role. What exactly would be expected of you here? How will your presence in the organisation help the organisation to achieve and exceed its goals? Take a look at the skills and experience you have and understand how you can be of great benefit to the organisation.
Four: Be ready to do the work. Again, it should go without saying, but apparently it needs to be emphasized. If you apply for a position somewhere and get called for an interview, please, be willing and ready to do the work. Don’t act like you’re doing the interviewers a favour by showing up. Lack of interest in the position or organisation can easily be seen by those on the other side of the table.
Taking these steps before the interview will increase your personal confidence as you prepare. At the interview, you will appear diligent, proactive and ready to deliver. The steps will increase your chances of getting the job and help you to settle into your new role when you do get the job. Good luck!