Some people go into an interview thinking they just want to give all the right answers and not screw it up. Essentially, these people are playing defense, and there’s really nothing wrong with that.
If, on the other hand, you want go on offense and take a pro-active approach to the interview, you have a much better chance of making a big impression on your interviewers. The key to this approach is thorough research, taking a conversational approach and embracing a positive identity for yourself.
Do a lot of research
You should start your research by reviewing the job description, particularly the relevant skills it identifies. Research each skill by reading blog or news articles that talk about the most developments, as they relate to your field.
If the job description contains unfamiliar words or acronyms, you need to learn them. These terms and phrases will probably come up in the interview and you need to be able to intelligently talk about them. You don’t have to be an expert on these words and phrases, but you should be capable of discussing the concepts behind them and how they relate to the job. Your past achievements got you through the pre-screening but if you are asking for numerous explanations on standard terminology, then your chances for getting the job are going to decrease.
Your studies should also include the company you are interviewing with. In particular, you should know what they provide and to whom. Then, consider what your role would be in providing those products or services.
Show your personal side
The research you do about the interviewers will be beneficial when you need to engage in small talk with the company. A lot of your competition is going to have similar skill set, but the main area where you can differentiate yourself is by connecting with the interviewer.
Before the interview, try to get the names of the people you will be meeting with throughout the day. Can you find any information about them? Where did they go to college? Do they have any children? What sports teams do they root for? Those are easy topics to talk about without meeting someone previously.
If you are interviewing in their office, look around for pictures of life events, scan diplomas, look for awards or conferences they attended. First of all it shows you are paying attention, but most importantly it shows you care.
The interviewer wants to be “wowed” during your interview. They want to be proud of the hire when you are introduced to the rest of the company. That personal connection can play a vital role in being the tiebreaker during the hiring process. You could have the same skills as another candidate, but if during the small talk before and after the interview, or even during lunch, if the interviewer pictures you as the right cultural fit for their team, then you have a great chance at getting the job.
Success or failure in the interview is often related to how the interviewer feels about you. That is not to say you don’t need to be competent. However, highly-qualified people often get turned down because they do not plainly express how they are an ideal and likeable fit for the job. While it is crucial to display your skills, it is even more critical to cultivate the right perception.
Remember to remain positive. You may have had bad experiences in your past, including troublesome coworkers, projects left unfinished and errors in judgment. You will probably be asked about them because an interviewer would like to hear how you handle hardship. Show you realize adversity is unavoidable, and you are good at dealing with it.
At ZDA, we help individuals with every part of the job seeking process, including the interview. If you would like to step up your interview game, please contact us today to work with a leader in supply chain recruiting!