Woo hoo! You got a job interview! You know you are a perfect fit for the job, now you just need to convince the interviewers. Easy, right? Hold on. I have interviewed a lot of people over the years and I keep seeing people make some simple mistakes. So, to conclude the Hiring From A Manager’s Perspective series, here are some tips to really shine in a job interview.
- Do your research. Thanks to the internet, there is really no excuse to not do your research on the company or the people you’re interviewing with. Read through all of the company’s website and check out their major competitors. If HR tells you in advance who you’re interviewing with, look up their profile on LinkedIn. Knowing what is important to the company and to the interviewers will give you an idea of what questions you will be asked.
- Practice your elevator speech. Almost every interview starts with “Tell me about yourself.” Be prepared with a two to five-minute summary of your career and who you are. We often use that summary as a starting point for the rest of the interview questions.
- Be prepared for the situational interview. This is the most common interview style where we ask you to give specific examples of what you did in certain situations. So, be prepared to talk about projects you are proud of and projects that did not go so well. Often, we ask about how you have resolved conflicts or solve difficult problems. If you are interviewing for a technical position, you definitely need to be prepared for the last one. One of my favorite things to do is change a requirement or a parameter in a project that the candidate just described to me and then ask them how it would change the solution. I am mostly interested in how the candidate thinks through the problem and solves it.
- Respect all interviewers equally. This one still surprises me. If you have more than one interviewer in the room, remember to address all interviewers equally. That means you look the person who asked the question in the eye as you answer their question. Some people have the habit of only looking at the person who answered the question. Others make eye contact with all the interviewers while answering each question. Either way is fine, just make sure you are paying equal attention to all interviewers. No matter who you are interviewing with, respect them the same way you would the hiring manager.
- Don’t forget to interview the interviewer. Almost all interviews conclude with: “Do you have any questions?” Be sure to take that time and ask specific questions about the company or the interviewers. You are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. You need to be sure that you will also like the job and the environment. Plus, asking good questions shows that you have done your research.
- Be honest. Just like all the other steps in the hiring process, it is important to be honest with yourself and the interviewers. It prevents unpleasant surprises later.
If you have any tips or horror stories from the interview process, I would love to read them in the comments!
Update: To read more tips on succeeding in the hiring process, please read my other posts on the subject:
- Hiring From A Manager’s Perspective – Part 1: Surviving The Resume Triage
- Hiring From A Manager’s Perspective – Part 2: Phone Interview Tips
- Hiring From A Manager’s Perspective – More Tips To Get An Interview