Interviews — Five considerations during the interview

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The posts this week have looked at interviews and interviewing. We’ve seen the gauntlet companies are raising in the interview process, my mini-rant about team interviewing, and what things should be in place before a person does interview.

But now, the coveted person-to-person interview is securely in hand. And some of the unknowns will now become known. It is a time of opportunity – and peril.

I’ll give you some perspectives and hard edge to-do’s.

As a candidate, you have very little control over an interview situation. It’s even designed to be somewhat intimidating (not necessarily intentionally). Certainly, you will be doing many new things out of your normal routine – adding to stress – and you have to be on all the time for whatever gauntlet gets thrown at you.

Here are five points to help all that along:

  1. Know what you have delivered in your positions, both now and in the past. Especially if they are financial benefits. Business is business, and participating in something versus delivering something is a world of difference between candidates. You may not know what needs to be delivered in the new position, but you must be able to articulate what you have delivered in your current position. And, if there are financial benefits, so much the better – but no one will believe the financial benefit, so be prepared to fully explain the logic in a concise manner that got you the financial benefit.
  2. Use what you have delivered in your position to bridge to what seems to be in the new position you are in the interview for. This bridging of delivery enables you to learn about the position and the hiring manager perception of the position. This will enable you to more closely relate what you have delivered to what is needed in the position.
  3. Always have questions to ask at the end of the interview. My favorites, since they are rarely talked about during the interview, relate to asking about the manager’s style or the team dynamics. A lot can be learned about the manager or team from asking those types of questions that would never have come up in the interview. It will be your only opportunity to see if the “culture” of the manager or team will match what you want in a position.
  4. Use specific examples that demonstrates the skills needed in the position. If SQL is needed for the position, make sure you have examples of where you used it. Better if it was delivered. Better if it resulted in a business savings from slicing and dicing stuff from your SQL example. Even better if you follow-up with a question asking if that is the type of work done in the position you are interviewing for. See how the dots connect?
  5. You do it for dates, don’t you? Why haven’t you ‘Googled’ every person you are interviewing with? If you Googled me, you’d find this web site plus an amateur radio web site. You’d see Cube Rules where you could read this and get exactly what you needed to be prepared for an interview. You’d see that I have Ten Keyboards, a writing blog. You’d see I’m currently writing for b5media and Pimp Your Work, a business blog about tools and tips to make your work life better. And you’d see a couple of older blogs I’ve written for. I’m not saying you would use any of it in the interview, but don’t you think it would help you to be ready? Yes, it would. Trust me. Just make sure you Google the right person!

All of these things are in your control. Knowing and preparing these items will help you be more confident for the interview.

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