Job interviews are a stressful thing and I can remember early in my career not really having a clue about what to do that might increase my chance of getting a job. In fact I probably didn’t even think about it in those terms … I would probably “hope” I did well, which puts all of the power in the hands of the interviewer!
There are a myriad of sites with advice about job interviews but I thought I would make a few of my own observations.
In addition to the basic skills needed to do the job, here are some other things that I look for …
- A positive and cheery attitude … I don’t want to introduce a “negative personality’ into my work place.
- Evidence that the person did some research before the interview … at a minimum visited the website and understands a bit about the company.
- Some questions that show they have thought about the role, and how it might work.
- They should dress appropriately.
- Enthusiasm for the opportunity … I want to feel they really want the job.
- Good manners!
Some of the things I might “dig for” in an interview will reveal a little more about the person …
- Will they be willing to put in longer hours when it is needed.
- Are they going to have “staying power” or stamina as per a recent blog entry.
- Are they interested in ongoing education? Will they invest in themselves or just expect the company to provide all of the training?
- Do they get involved in other activities outside work … charities, hobbies etc. Signs of a balanced approach to life.
It is hard to hit the right “note” when in the interview process, but good preparation goes a long way.
Visit the website and try to find out about the company, its values, mission, vision etc. What does the company do? Does it have awards? Is it involved in charities … and what are they?
If someone interviewing with me said that they saw we are involved with children’s charities and would the new role present an opportunity to get involved … I would be impressed.
If someone said, I hope you don’t mind but I googled you and see that you are very involved in industry associations, that must be a big commitment does Eagle get anything from that? … I would be impressed.
Our website has a ton of information about the company, its history, awards, press releases etc. in addition to executive bios … it would be excellent fodder to differentiate with. I saw that your President has numerous awards … is good stuff.
It is pretty easy to find general questions to ask … what is the culture like in the office? Does the company have any training or a philosophy about training? Do people move about within the company? Are there growth opportunities?
There are also more specific questions about the role … who will i work with most? Where do I sit? What kind of technology do you use? Is there travel? etc.
When you go into a job interview it should always be with the sole purpose of getting the offer. By having that very clear goal, then you can develop a plan that includes research, developing questions, deciding what you should highlight about your experience and skills.
A job interview is hard work … if you “wing it” then you are flipping a coin, if you do the preparation then you have a much better chance of success.