There are elements in the interview process candidates cannot control, such as internal politicking. However, candidates can control some aspects through the way they represent themselves. The following characteristics and behaviors are likely to appeal to an interviewer:
*Being well-rounded, interesting, and curious about the world.
*Caring about more than just the specific job and showing interest in the entire business.
*Sharing a passion for something.
*Demonstrating a willingness to admit to mistakes and embracing them as learning opportunities.
*Having opinions on current affairs.
Interviews provide individuals with opportunities to bring their experiences, qualifications, personalities, and unique skills to life. For the company, the interview is an opportunity to assess a candidate’s fit with company culture.
The techniques below can help ensure a successful experience before, during, and after the interview.
Before the Interview
Interviews are like class assignments–they require research. Candidates should spend time learning as much as possible about the company and the specifics of the job. The goal is to be able to have an intelligent and informed conversation about the company. They should practice these conversations with fellow students to get comfortable.
Candidates can learn about the interviewers from online sources like LinkedIn and Google. This research provides common ground and topics for conversation. They can anticipate questions that will be asked and develop responses in advance. Candidates should also come prepared to speak very specifically about their three top strengths, with reinforcing examples.
It is important to bring questions to the interview as well. This is another opportunity to show thought and interest in the company. Candidates should just be sure their questions have not already been answered elsewhere.
During the Interview
First impressions are very important. Candidates must dress professionally, be on time, behave politely, and use body language that reflects calm confidence. When invited to share information about themselves, candidates should present that information clearly and concisely, without rambling on. They should avoid the tendency to talk too much and too fast. In an interview situation less is always more.
Sometimes candidates will make mistakes when answering questions. In this scenario, they should keep calm and ask for the opportunity to restate an answer. Sometimes candidates will simply not have answers to certain questions. They should be honest and admit they do not have a good answer.
Candidates should ask questions that show interest in the company, not an interest in themselves, including questions that extend beyond the company to the industry and global affairs.
After the Interview
Candidates should always follow up with personal notes thanking interviewers for the opportunity to meet.