Smart Interviewing Strategies You Already Know, But Sometimes Forget

For many people, no matter how long they have been in their careers, interviews are never fun.

I often challenge my clients to think of the interviewing process as a meeting or an exchange of information.

Sort of like, I check you out and you check me out and see if we are a right fit for each other.

Before The Interview

Spend time researching the organization and position you are interviewing for

Go beyond what you find on the internet. Talk to current or former employees about their experiences and impressions of the company, study the company’s products and services, industry trends, target market and any other key information.

Are there any new trends in the industry?

Prepare specific examples of how your skills and experience are a strong fit for company’s needs

Practice answering directed questions about your experience, education, and skills and how they relate to the position at hand.

Being prepared to draw colorations between your experience and the needs of the organization is one of the most important interviewing skills you will need.

Identify your strengths and value proposition

Be prepared to talk about your value to employers beyond your experience, qualifications and leadership strengths.

  • Are you known for bringing products to market faster at a lower cost?
  • Are you the guru when it comes to strategic partnerships?
  • Do you have a history of business innovation that creates market leadership for companies?

Basically, be able to clearly articulate why they should hire you and why they need you on their team.

Determine your deal breakers with the job and/or company

So many times in interviews, candidates focus on their energy and efforts on impressing the interviewers that they fail to think about intelligent questions to ask.

Think about some of your deal breakers with accepting a new job.

  • Will you have to do a lot of traveling?
  • What does a typical day look like in the role?
  • Are you expected to operate in an autonomous manner or are all decisions made with the team?
  • What does the team like to communicate – in person, email, meetings?
  • What are some of the outcomes that would be expected in the first 90 days?

These are just a few examples of questions to ask, but remember in the interviewing process, you should be evaluating the company and the position as much as they are evaluating you.

Day Before The Interview

  • Contact the company to confirm the date and time of your interview and confirm the name and title of the individual(s) you will be meeting.
  • Double check directions and estimate travel time and take into consideration rush hour traffic and weather.
  • Finalize your interview outfit, try on again, sit in the outfit and move around to make sure you will comfortable during the interview.
  • Print off a few extra copies of your resume as backup in case you end up interviewing with additional individuals.

Day of The Interview

  • Eat healthy, substantial meals so you can be fueled and alert for your interview…avoid eating heavy carbs, excessive sugars or caffeine to prevent brain fog or sluggishness.
  • Allow extra time for getting dressed so you don’t feel pressured or rushed to get out the door; pay extra attention to personal appearance as first impressions are very important.
  • Your interview starts from the moment you park your car or step into the building…be respectful, pleasant and professional to EVERYONE. Yes, even the person checking you in on the ground level.

Relax and remember to breathe! I always recommend that my clients shift their perception of interviewing. See it as an important meeting with an exchange of information…where both sides get to decide if there’s a good fit.