Successfully navigating your next job interview requires more than your ability to answer all the questions on someone’s list or restate everything on your resume. You are essentially asking a stranger to put their trust in you. That you’re a decent person who can take direction, work well with others, and complete your assignments. Convincing this stranger that you are that person requires thoughtfulness in your preparation and wisdom in your conversation with the hiring manager.
Many interviewers are looking at a list of minimum requirements that are deemed essential for even being considered. A certain amount and type of education. A degree of expertise in one or more skills. A progressively successful series of accomplishments and promotions. Employers don’t want stagnant workers or those who are seen to have diminished in value or effectiveness over the course of their careers.
And yet, interviewers often miss some of the best input from candidates because they don’t detail the objectives of the job in question and ask candidates how they have accomplished similar objectives in their previous experience. That’s where you have an opportunity to turn the conversation to the questions that lead to your best answers on the experience that matters.
Hiring guru Lou Adler suggests that candidates must guide the interviewer to the answers that highlight comparable job experience to the job in question.
Long before the interview, candidates need to prepare a summary of their core strengths along with detailed examples of accomplishments supporting each one. Describing these during the interview ensures a complete assessment. By keeping a mental checklist of what’s been covered during the interview you’ll know what hasn’t been. Then ask this type of forced-choice question whenever one of your core strengths hasn’t been fully addressed: “Is (major strength) important for success in this role? If so, how is it used?” With this clarification, you’ll then be able to give an example of something you’ve done that proves your ability to handle this aspect of the job.Headhunter Secrets for Acing the Interview – Lou Adler
Every candidate wants to be assessed fairly on his or her experiences that have made them successful in previous jobs. Helping interviewers get beyond the checklist in order to hear what you’ve really accomplished can make the difference in moving forward or not. Adler continues:
Candidates need to take matters into their own hands whenever they believe they’re not being interviewed properly. This is not sinister or manipulative, just commonsense. It starts by asking about real job needs, putting compensation into the parking lot and asking forced-choice questions to ensure all of the person’s core strengths have been adequately covered. The most important part of this whole process, however, is giving detailed examples of accomplishments most related to the real job requirements.
Read Lou Adler’s insightful article titled “Headhunter Secrets for Acing the Interview.”
Of course, preparation includes researching the company, it’s products and services, it’s key leaders, and any news items in which it is mentioned. By the time you get to the interview, you should have several narratives ready that reveal experiences and accomplishments that match the actual objectives of the job.
Ask questions. Tell your story. Ace the interview.
Need help getting in the door? Call one of our recruiting specialists who will walk you through the entire process.