Want to have an awesome interview? Take it back to basics.

As a recruiter, I have seen and heard a variety of interviews that can be described as bizarre, engaging, erratic, awesome, and even awful. In my opinion, preparation is key. I came across an article on TLNT.com, “Interview Like a Kid, Hire Like a Grown-up” that provides tips on how interviewers should take a step back and simplify the process to get more depth out of a candidate. Changing the perspective, here are some tips — with a few caveats — for the interviewee:

  1. Always ask questions – with genuine interest: If you are simply going through the motions, maybe this isn’t the right opportunity for you. A key observation: If you’re not interested in learning more, the person interviewing you is most likely not going to be interested in learning more about you. In addition to specific questions related to the position and company, ask questions that are important to you in your search: What is the management style? Team dynamic?
  2. Show and tell: The goal of an interview is to sell yourself while gaining knowledge around the position/company. When the interviewer describes an expectation or requirement, this is your time to shine. Tell him or her what you have done, but be specific; don’t rattle off a resume bullet. The goal is not to simply show that you can talk the talk, but to educate the interviewer on the fact that you can walk-the-walk.
  3. Be detailed, but be concise: An Oxymoron? Not quite. In the TLNT.com article, the author writes, “Interviewing is as much about how an interviewee responds as it is about the content of that response.” Pay attention to how you articulate yourself, and be sure not to be long-winded about any particular topic. It is awesome to be passionate about what you do, but keep in mind this is an interview and cut to the chase. One way to solve this common issue is to go over general questions before the interview and determine the baseline of what you want to say.
  4. Follow through: I can’t tell you how many candidates, at all levels, don’t ask questions like, “What are the next steps?” or, “When should I expect to hear from you?” What is the point of putting something out there if you don’t follow through? Ask for next steps, and follow through with sending a thank you email to each person you interview with.

In interviews, you definitely have to juggle selling yourself with gaining more insight about the opportunity. Accomplish both by following the four steps above. If you have interviewed and not been moved forward, ask why. Constructive feedback will help you to improve your interview skills for the next one.

photo by: Victor1558

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