Most candidates assume that a job interview is, for the most part, planned and controlled by the hiring manager. There is a set of questions that must be covered and there is usually a set time given for the meeting. While much of this is true, the candidate who prepares to win the job must also plan to significantly impact the interviewer. And there are several levels of preparation.
Hiring guru Lou Adler recently wrote of the most important questions that a hiring manager should ask in order to find the best candidate. Two questions:
- “One of the biggest challenges in this job is (provide short description). If you were to get the job, how would you go about solving it?”
- “Now, can you tell me about something you’ve accomplished that’s most related to what we need done?”
(Read the entire article here.)
Adler explains the significant value of these questions during the interview:
Asked properly, this question uncovers a critical ability of all top performers: job-related problem-solving skills. The best candidates I’ve met in my 35 years in executive search all have the ability to anticipate the needs of the job before starting it. They can figure out very quickly what’s wrong or what’s necessary to accomplish a task, what they need to do to implement a solution, and what resources they need to do it. Even better, they “see” the problem, the solution, and the steps needed to get there. They also know what they don’t know and are confident enough to tell you how they’ll get this information.
The point for the candidate is this: Be prepared to demonstrate your problem-solving skills in such a way that it relates to the company for which you want to work. If the interviewer doesn’t go down this road, you need to look for opportunities to insert your answer to these questions into the interview.
But how do you plan out your answers?
First, you need to sync up your understanding of the needs of the company with your experience in solving similar problems. You do this by researching the company’s history, products and services, any kind of news related to the company, and how the work you do would contribute to the success of the company should they hire you.
Second, rehearse your answers to these questions. Make sure you’re comfortable making your statements. Keep in mind that you might be interrupted or that the interviewer might come at the questions from a different direction. Think through the scenarios in which you can accentuate your experience in solving the problems they might face.
Adler describes the “Four Dimensions of Thinking and Problem-Solving.” Evaluate your own way of approaching challenges and formulate statements that communicate depth and genuineness.
Working with a recruiting firm like Core Technology Solutions? Ask them to coach you before each interview. They are working hard to see you win!
For more information, contact CTS at www.core-ts.com.