In the past week I realized that it is so important to believe in yourself and to always have hope for a bright future.
In an attempt at doing my part to better myself and my family, I decided to leave my comfort zone and reach out to the hiring manger of a job vacancy I was interested in. The position itself was very much outside my comfort zone. Not only was it something that I don’t have experience in, but it was also a job that requires me to be extremely extroverted. However, I felt in my bones that maybe this was the step I needed to take. This was going to push me towards my best self. I would be able to develop a lot of the soft skills including relationship building, networking, negotiation and persuasion techniques. I was so surprised when I got an interview a few days after applying. I was even more surprised when I got the second interview a week later. Imagine my complete surprise when I got offered the job!
I did a lot of preparation for the interviews. I thought about the areas I was most weak in and prepared strategies to convince the interviewers that I was the best person for the job despite my inexperience in the area. I also would conduct a post-mortem analysis after every interview and sometimes even think to myself, “Will they really pick me over more qualified people?”
Well, they did. I knew that I wanted that job and I did my preparations, said a prayer and showed them my personality and my skills. Based on my experiences, here are four tips that you can use to really impress the interviewers:
- Do your research. Research the company that you’re interviewing with. Review the vision and mission statements, the core values and get comfortable with the products and services offered. Check the news to see what major projects the company is undertaking. Also, research the position that you are interviewing for. Look at the job advertisement and analyze the duties and responsibilities. See what the expectation is and how you can add value.
- Never let them see you sweat. No matter how nervous you are in the interview, always showcase confidence, pleasantness and ease.
- Tell me of a time… Interviewers love to ask you to recount an experience (mostly professional but sometimes personal can be used) where you displayed a particular trait that was necessary to handle a specific situation. This could be, conflict resolution tactics, relationship building tactics, customer service tactics, time management, working under pressure and tight deadlines, efficiency, accuracy, etc. Always have at least 5 experiences (preferably within the last 12 months or less) that you can readily draw on that displays all of the traits listed above and any other traits you can think of. Here’s a link to some commonly asked questions that you should be able to answer: https://www.themuse.com/advice/30-behavioral-interview-questions-you-should-be-ready-to-answer
- Think on your feet. Interviewers will throw curve ball questions to test your ability to react quickly under pressure without freaking out. Take a deep breath, think about what it is that they are looking for in your response and give it to them. This comes over time. Sometimes it is helpful to role play with a trusted friend. Think of questions you’ve both been asked in previous interviews and figure out what the interviewer was looking for and try to formulate the best answers.
In summary, interviewers want to know that you have the technical/functional capabilities and also the behavioral competencies that they seek. The aim is to be able to showcase both in a natural and effortless way. They don’t want a smart worker with a bad attitude and they don’t want someone who is clueless and courteous. Learning to put your best foot forward in an interview and landing that amazing job may take some practice and effort, but it will be worth It in the end.