Most job seekers experience some form of stress during the search, regardless of experience, compensation level, or industry type.
Stress tends to hamper interviewing performance, negotiation ability and, when it gets to a certain point, can result in people wanting to postpone and ignore the process altogether.
In a career spanning over 15 years, across geographies, I have seen it all and heard it all and I strongly feel that interviewing for a new job need not be an anxiety-inducing experience.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind during your interview preparation:
1. Interviews are an information exchange medium, not an interrogation session
Jobseekers should be prepared to have conversation during the interview process. They should tell and sell their story and not buckle under the pressure to provide" acceptable" replies.
The interviewee should be speaking about 80 per cent of the time and be in control.
2. If you have a high-demand skill set like digital marketing, the interview is a mutual assessment
This is an opportunity for you to evaluate your future boss, colleagues, and office culture as much as it's an opportunity for the hiring company to assess your background.
Will you be excited to show up here every day? Ask more questions that will help you in mapping your values with that of the organisations.
3. Interviewing is an extension of your presentation style
If you approach the interview process as a storytelling exercise you will exude confidence and be better able to make the case of why you are the best candidate for the role.
Answer the following questions to yourself:
- Who is your audience?
- How will you connect the dots between your past experiences and the current job requirements?
- How have your core strengths helped you be successful? How will they help with this role?
- What experiences/skills are you looking to gain in your next move?
4. Lead with your accomplishments and successes
Be prepared to celebrate your success and talk about it when asked about your previous experience or accomplishments.
- How have you contributed the most to the company or your team?
- What will you be most remembered for when you leave?
Avoid focusing on your day to day responsibilities only. Figure out how your role and work contributes to the larger goals for your team or vision for your company.
5. Prepare examples for commonly asked questions
First, provide the context. What was the situation or problem that you were dealing with? What tactics or actions did you take? What were the results? What did you learn?
This format will provide a framework to answer practically any question, such as:
- Provide an example of teamwork
- Tell us about a time you had to deal with a difficult client.
6. Prepare for tough or tricky questions
The questions that most candidates bristle at:
Why are you exploring new opportunities?
The answer shouldn't be "I hate my boss." If that is the case the better answer is "Current position is a poor culture fit." The best answer will focus on an opportunity to learn or gain new skills.
Why have you changed jobs so often i.e. within one year or less?
It isn't uncommon for millennials to have 5 jobs in 5 years so what motivated each of those moves. What did you learn and what did you contribute in that period?
What are your compensation requirements to make a move?
You should always know what you're worth and there is an abundance of salary information to be found online. Start with Glassdoor or Indeed.com to get a benchmark for what your skills can command in your current city.
7. Your body language conveys just as much as what you say
- Make eye contact with your interviewer
- Put away your cell phone
- Sit up straight and lean in
- Most of all remember to smile and have fun
Searching for ways to enhance your resume? Find out here!