Most everyone at some point in their life interviews for a job. Sometimes the interview is for THE job…..the one you’ve dreamed of or are hoping with all your being you’ll land. Interviewing is always a stressful time. Maybe it’s wanting to be good enough, or the fear of rejection that creates those internal butterflies. In the end, these anxious emotions stem from the worry of “fit.” Am I the right person for this role? Is this company the right fit for me? Will I fit in with my managers and coworkers? If you’re in this stage of life, here’s the good news: You’re perfectly normal! Everyone who interviews experiences these feelings. So what do you do to overcome your concerns and have successful interviews? Here’s a few secrets from a seasoned interviewer:
- Your interviewer has all the same concerns as you do. Filling an open position is stressful for the hiring manager as well. There is a lot of time, energy and money poured into job posting and interviewing. Fit is critical to ensure there is return on investment.
- Be prepared for behavioral interviewing. Behavioral interview questions will start with phrases such as “give me an example when…” or “tell me about a time you…” The theory behind these interviews is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Be prepared to show a track record of success in a variety of important areas like problem solving, working effectively with others and communication skills. Know your strengths and build them into your answers.
- Do plenty of research and have well thought out questions that show you’re investigating fit between you and the company. Not only does this leave a good impression, but it can also give you very important clues as to your thinking process and analytical capability.
- Be keenly aware that what may seem to be “the polite answer” to a question may not be what the interviewer is wanting to hear. If asked a question like, “If the plan suddenly changes are you going to be okay with it?” the polite answer might appear to be, “Yes, I can adapt.” However, a better answer may be, “I understand changes occur. If that happens, I’ll listen to what the new goal or approach is, take time to adapt my plan and ensure it contributes to the larger effort.”
Be true to yourself and your strengths. If you land a position that is less than a good fit, it will require too much adapting, which may misdirect your energy, thus affecting your productivity. If you don’t get the dream job, it’ll be ok. Look for the perfect fit for your skill set, and more importantly a fit that motivates and inspires you.