After conducting 100s of interviews and 1,000s of resume reviews in my various roles as an HR professional, technical recruiter, career consultant and college professor, it still amazes me the misinformed pre-conceptions that job seekers have about interviews. I got to thinking about the number of mock interviews that I’ve conducted over the past four years at Davis College for the Career Development course and I realized that there were some definite threads of wisdom that we share in the mock interview debrief that any job seeker could benefit from.
#1 – Be REAL. Think “Express” vs. “Impress” – I know this seems backwards to most people. The reality is that the interviewer is likely going to see right through your attempts to impress. Now, I’m not advocating being lazy or unprepared. Just be real. A lot of interviewers get hung up and nervous because they are “being judged”. They try to use words and phrases that are not normal language for them and they spend too much energy trying to impress that they lose their opportunity to express who they are. The interviewer is looking for insight about who you are and looking to confirm what you say you know and can do for them. The interview is the time for expression of who you are without being self promotional. Using phrases like – “I’ve been recognized for…” or “I’ve been told that I…” helps you to share who you are without an attitude of arrogance. Being genuine will help you to express who you are and will organically demonstrate your uniqueness to the interviewer.
#2 – Be AWARE. – No, I didn’t say beware. I said be A-ware, of yourself, the interviewer, the organization and the job that you are interviewing for. Get informed first and foremost about your product – YOU – and how you are a good fit for the company and job you are interviewing for. This takes a level of self awareness and maybe even some self-assessment so that you can know your knowledge, abilities, skills and traits well enough to communicate them to a complete stranger in an unfamiliar environment. Be aware of who your interviewer is – preferably before the interview begins. This helps you to better relate to him or her and create a relationship that could help you with this opportunity or one down the road. Research the organization and the job that you are interviewing for long before the interview so that you can prepare questions that are intelligent and thought provoking and that demonstrate your fit for the organization. Dig as deep as you can so you can help the interviewer see who you are and what you can do for them if they add you to their payroll.
Check back on Friday for tips 3-5!
JoAnne Casterlin is an Adjunct Professor at Davis College in Career Development. She is an active career and life coach who has worked in Career Development for over 10 years. JoAnne seeks to encourage others facing life transitions and challenges through coaching, blogging, and sharing her testimony. She speaks on the theme of “Authentic, Abiding and Abundant Christian Living” and focuses on helping women of all ages to better handle life changes, break free from adversity and experience spiritual growth with grace, courage and wisdom.