How to prepare for an interview
|After decades of feedback from companies on why a candidate DOESN’T make it to next steps, below is a comprehensive outline of how to prepare yourself for your next first interview with a company. |
1) Review company websites to know what your potential employer does. If they ask the question (What do you know about us?) make sure you can engage in that conversation. I’ve had companies pass on candidates not because they weren’t qualified but because they had no idea who they were interviewing with.
2) Presenting yourself. Every candidate interviewing for your position is going to have a similar background to yours. The way you separate yourself from other candidates is to talk about your accomplishments. Those can be twofold. If it is a leadership position you are applying for, talk about your leadership style and any successes you’ve had in mentoring direct reports that have gone on to higher level roles. And metrics. Whether you are an Analyst, a Maintenance Manager, or a Controller, describe metrics on how you’ve improved performance, process, costs…. anything measurable.
3) Be mindful of your audience. In the end, each of your interviewers want you to solve their problems as it relates to your field of expertise. You need to be able to flex your presentation of yourself according to the department they represent.
4) If you must relocate for the position include things in your presentation that tie you to the area. This can include family or friends, visits/vacations, or even interests (If you like golfing and this is a golfing community that’s a tie. If you are looking for good schools for your kids and this area ranks high, that’s a tie).
5) Connect with your interviewer. First interviews are for exploring the fit and finding synergy with your interviewer is key.
6) Express your interest. If after your interview you are still interested. Express it. Sometimes the enthusiasm a candidate shows for the company and opportunity can contribute to getting that second interview…. especially if a company is on the fence.