Do You Interview Like a Pro? | Ladders

Do You Interview Like a Pro?

Strategies to help you put your best foot forward and seal the deal.
artInterviewing-2I often hear how nerve-wracking and uncomfortable it is to go to an interview, but, I promise, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’re going to look at three strategies to re-frame and prepare for an interview that will seal the deal and get you that job offer.

More often than not, job seekers go into interviews with the totally wrong objectives. They seem to think that the goal is to sell themselves and to make themselves look great. They are afraid to show any weaknesses and are so uptight that they don’t showcase their personality.

Many find the questions that are asked in interviews unnerving and the idea of asking questions even more intimidating.

So we are going to break it down and cover the keys to successful interviewing one at a time.

In fact, we’re going to cover three main ideas:

  • How to re-frame an interview in a way that makes you feel empowered and confident
  • The how (and why) of introducing candor and authenticity into your interview
  • The whole gamut of questions — why they are so important, what you should ask when and why they frame your entire conversation.

Reframing Your Interview

You can toss everything that you think you know about interviewing out the window. This is your new framework.

Your No. 1 Goal in an Interview

Have you forgotten everything you previously thought you knew? Good.

Your No. 1 goal in an interview is simple. It’s to make the other person (the interviewer) comfortable. You want to put that person at ease and make them feel like they are having coffee with an old friend.

Tall order? Here are three strategies that will help immediately:

  • Smile and start with small talk —just like “real life,” ease into the meeting
  • Mirror them (sit in the same posture, if they look at something, look too!)
  • Laugh! Share a joke or a funny story — just make sure it makes you look good

What an Interview Really Is

This can come as a shocker, but it will totally change the way you approach interviews, giving you much more power and confidence, making you far more desirable to the company, so listen up!

An interview is a conversation between two people trying to figure out if the opportunity is a good fit. It’s like a first date — neither should have all the power.

It’s easy to feel powerless in an interview, but, remember, this is as much your decision as it is theirs. Treat the interview like that! Here are two ways to assert your power in an interview:

  • Ask to meet the team you will be working with primarily
  • Ask questions throughout the interview — don’t make them all softballs

Questions, Questions, Questions

Asking the right questions at an interview can be the difference between a dream job and a dread job.

10 Great Questions for Just About Any Interview

Early in the Interview:

  • What would your dream candidate skills and characteristics be?
  • What are your financial goals for the coming year? How does my department/position impact them?
  • What are the two biggest challenges you hope that the person in this position will alleviate?

The Middle of the Interview:

  • What would a person in this position likely be doing on a Tuesday morning?
  • What is the meeting culture of this organization? (frequency, length, etc.)
  • Is there any travel? If so — how frequent, for what durations and locations?

Late in the Interview:

  • Who is on the primary team that I will work with? May I meet them?
  • What kind of exposure will I have with the leadership team?
  • If there is a challenge, what is the chain of command? What kind of support can I expect?
  • What is your greatest reservation about having me fill the position?

Well, it’s official, armed with your new mindset and questions that will make you stand out, you are officially ready to interview like a pro!

Reposted with permission from Personal Branding Blog

Rebecca Rapple

Rebecca Rapple has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Keith Ferrazzi’s My Greenlight and more.

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