In today’s episode we’ll answer a question from Greg in San Diego who writes:
“Hello WehnerEd, I am searching for a new job and hope to have several interviews before the end of the year. What advice would you suggest for me to ace these interviews? Thanks in advance,
This is an excellent question, and one we receive quite often. Having conducted over a hundred interviews in recent years as a recruiter and leader of several organizations, I could talk on this topic for hours, but will try to limit my advice to only a key few today.
First off, you proved you were qualified for the job before you were invited to Interview … so did everyone else the company is interviewing
Now it’s up to you to prove why you deserve the position. If you think about it, what does you acing an interview look like from the recruiters perspective? Ideally, they come out of the interview jazzed from your energy and eager to extend you an offer.
As I’ve done after interviewing excellent candidates, you want your interviewer to tell their hiring manager that you’re a “must hire” and that the company needs you on their team
Let’s break down how you can make this happen
First off, preparation:
- Research the company. Ideally you did this before applying in the first place, but be sure you understand their projects and values to help tailor your answers
- Identify and prepare for commonly asked interview questions. We have a great list to get you started at com/interviewquestions
- Alongside this, list at least 10 short narratives about your experience that can be used when answering these interview questions. As we’ve mentioned in a post on our blog, a key to draw in your audience is with story telling. Capture their attention, and deliver meaningful examples of your experience
- Have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview:
- How would you describe the culture both in the company and on the team that I would be working on?
- What do you like about the company that has kept you here over the years?
Think about an analogous scenario to interviewing, if you were to put in similar research and preparation before a first date where you talk with a close friend of theirs beforehand and learn that they love dancing, are looking for someone that can cook, and had a fantastic vacation shopping in New York. If during the first date you work into the conversation that you recently made poached eggs for breakfast for you and your roommate, loved a vacation that you took to New York, and bragged about your dance moves from last weekend, imagine their eyes light up at the great compatibility you two have.
While this practice is probably shady in the dating world, your goal is to get a similar reaction out of your recruiter in an interview. Do your homework ahead of time to determine the best way to present yourself as an ideal candidate so that you become a must-hire.
After you’ve prepared your notes, practice practice practice. You don’t want to rehearse such that you’re robotic in your responses, but instead you want to know your story like the back of your hand so that you can preform well under the pressure and stress of the real thing. You want to come off as confident, because the recruiter can’t feel confident in you if you don’t first have confidence in yourself
- Practice energy
- Practice enthusiasm
- Practice smiling and voice intonation to convey your passion.
- Remember, everyone that’s interviewing for this job is qualified. You rise above the rest by being your best self and being someone that the recruiter would want on their team.
- Record yourself Practicing with your webcam
- Practice in the shower
- Practice with a friend for honest feedback
- If you’re serious about getting this job, take your preparation seriously
The clutch part about having a handful of stories prepared is that they can generally be applied to other answers that you didn’t directly prepare for. I interviewed for a job earlier this year and was asked a question out of left field that I hadn’t thought about before. Rather than searching my whole memory bank for an example to build a thoughtful answer around, I already had some stories prepared and ready to go to pull on and adapt on the spot. Even the curveballs that were thrown my way were made easy by the preparation I had put in ahead of time.
For additional resources, subscribe to our YouTube playlist on interviewing tips. Here we’ve compiled videos there that we find the most useful videos to help you knock it out of the park. We’ve done the legwork so that you can jump right in with the best content.
The career hacking podcast strives to make our content as interesting and approachable as it is helpful. If you found this episode helpful, please share it with your peers and consider supporting us at Patreon.com/WehnerEd. You can find additional resources… show notes… or receive personalized 1-on-1 career coaching through our website: WehnerEd.com.
Thanks for listening, and until next time. Adios!