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Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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Interviewers don’t like interviewing

Posted by Stephanie on July 31, 2012

Imagine listening to people drone on and on without much enthusiasm, clearly nervous, scared, unprepared … I’ve watched an interview team come out of the room after sitting through three interviews, and believe me, they look drained, glassy eyed, and ready for espresso, never mind plain coffee!

Although I cannot claim that all interviewers dislike interviewing, a good number likely mull over plans to call in sick on a day when they’ve scheduled a full day on interviews.

Use this knowledge to your advantage, job hunter! Show enthusiasm, interest, personality. It’s a critical component of the evaluation. Hiring decisions are as much about fit with the existing division/team/department as it is about having the skill-set.

Here are a few ideas on how to communicate personality, enthusiasm, energy, interest:

  • Mention self-study through weekly RSS feeds or newsletters, on-line courses or a recent reading list. And be prepared to chat about industry trends. You wouldn’t conduct self-study unless you really and authentically loved your work.
  • Refer to teams and committees for which you volunteered. Again, you wouldn’t add to your existing workload unless you were passionate about the field you were in.
  • Speak with enthusiasm. Don’t hold yourself in, full of reservation and caution. (Don’t jump onto the couch either – you know where that led a certain movie star!) Show an interest, add inflection to your delivery, and err on the side of enthusiasm rather than reservedness. (Of course that depends on the job; an actuarial might be expected to be studious, whereas a communications/marketing staff might benefit from some excitement. You must always exercise your own judgement and be authentic to your normal level of engagement.)
  • Most important: please come prepared. It is boring to sit through an hour-long interview where the candidate arrived on confidence alone. Preparation means work. And lots of it. It means knowing what your five key strengths/talents/skills are, and having examples that demonstrate these”at work.” It means knowing what the employer will expect of you, on the job, and it’s not just these skills. It means having conducted research into market activities, or recent press coverage, and addressing upcoming challenges.

If your interview team enjoys the conversation, you’re as good as in! Make the decision easy – wow the interviewer and score the job offer! Working to your career success, Stephanie

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