Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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The Job Interview’s Goal

Posted by Stephanie on June 25, 2012

Many job hunters feel that even when invited to an interview, the interviewer’s goal is to eliminate them from the competition. And although, yes, all but one must be eliminated, why immediately put yourself at a disadvantage by assuming it must be you?

Having been invited to the table, you have as much chance as the other successful applicants at landing the job offer, but you have to interview with strategy.

Here’s what you need to prove in the interview to stand out from your competitors.

1. First the employer needs to be assured that you have the skills to do the job. Yes, your resume did a good job of demonstrating essential skills “at work,” but now you must incorporate these as you reply to interview questions. Along with job-related examples, mention your self-study, volunteering for team assignments, and other examples that prove ability and enthusiasm.

2. The employer will be impressed by your ability to tie your work to his bottom line. Be sure to pull in a few lines about how you work collaboratively with other departments, and otherwise demonstrate your awareness of how your job impacts other departments and your colleagues’ workload. Relate your performance to profits and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors.

3. Be sure to relieve any possible question of your willingness to put the employer’s gains first and foremost while at work. Examples of teamwork, of continuing education, or of resolving workplace issues will satisfy the need to know that you are easy to manage, that you won’t be a bad apple that spoils group dynamics, and that your manager’s annual bonus won’t be in jeopardy with your hire.

4. Don’t neglect to show your problem solving prowess. Every position has problems to solve and demonstrating your ability to proactively identify and reactively resolve – with efficiency – is paramount. Neglect this and you’ve missed an opportunity to showcase your deep knowledge, keen analytical skills, time management and organizational methodologies, and your leadership in the way of self-discipline or delegation. So many skills are integral to problem solving and you must have a list of examples, at the ready, with which to wow your interviewer.

Next interview – go in determined that since you were invited, you’ve every right to be awarded the job offer. And by applying these tactics – relating your skills to the employer’s bottom line, putting the employer’s needs on the top, and showing a real enthusiasm for your work – you’ll leave an impression that is most likely to lead to a job offer.


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