Insider Tips for Job Interview Success
by Rich J. Kolodgie, Managing Director, Barton Career Advisors
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you.” (Tom Peters, “The Brand Called You”, Fast Company, Issue 10, August 1997.)
Interview Preparation W5 Model
Well, what better way to market the brand called you, than in a job interview? And, preparation, preparation, preparation… will help you to sell yourself.
So, let’s get prepared, by following the W5 Model:
Hiring Manager’s Evaluation – W.A.S.
Once you have finished the W5 prep, then begin to think about what recruiter and hiring managers are looking for when they are interviewing you. In most cases the three main things they are evaluating is:
Willingness – Are you willing to do the work that they have for you?
Ability – Do you have the skills and abilities to do this job?
Stability – Are they comfortable that you have the work history that demonstrates commitment?
So, you can change the conversation flow in an interview by keeping your pulse on what the interviewer is most interested in. For example, around “Willingness” ask questions first and use rapport building time wisely. Around your ability to do the job, prepare and tell good accomplishment stories, as people tend to remember stories and not facts. And, in the area of stability, point to previous roles with solid commitment and indicate your intended commitment level.
Probably most important is your ability to tell good accomplishment stories. We suggest that you be prepared to talk about your accomplishments in terms of concrete examples:
Action – What you actually did.
Situation – What was the situation you were dealing with at the company at that time?
Result – What was the outcome? How did it help the company? And, quantify, where possible.
There are lot’s of things you should do to prepare, but how about some interview blunders to avoid?
- Showing up late – the reason will never matter
- Getting the dress code wrong
- Forgetting the follow-up thank you note
- Obvious embellishment or padding
- Talking about salary, hours, benefits, perks
- Speaking poorly about previous roles/companies
- Not listening to the question – The Zone Out
- Being overly familiar (talking about the picture on the wall.)
- Putting the interviewer on the spot.
Five Steps To A Successful Interview
So, hopefully some of these tips and tools for interviewing success will help you, and in closing remember these five things:
- Proper Attitude – Must know who you are and what you bring to the table.
- Arm yourself with info about the company and position.
- Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
- Let the meeting flow.
- Follow up.
The expert career coaches at Barton Career Advisors work every day helping our clients to interview for success, and would be delighted to assist you.