As a Recruiter I have had the opportunity to interview the good, the bad and the ugly. How do you become a good interviewer and not one of the candidates to consistently get passed over? Through thousands of phone conversations with potential candidates, I have identified a simple list of what to do and certainly what not to do, with a couple of classic examples for enjoyment purposes.
#1: Research the Company
I repeat, research the company. Know what the company does, what industry the company is in, their mission as an organization, etc. Explore the internet to learn as much as possible about the company before speaking with them. It looks very poorly on you as a candidate if the Recruiter asks you if you are familiar with the company and you say no, that you have never heard of them or God forbid you take a wild guess and completely miss the mark. These are all risks that could easily be avoided by spending some time really learning about the company you are applying to.
#2: Sell Yourself
Review the job description thoroughly and match the relevant experience you have to what the position calls for. Think of examples of what you have done in the past that would make it a seamless transition for you to move into this role. The more you talk about how applicable your background is to the position you are applying for, the better. Through your answers, sell why they should hire you and not any of the 100 other applicants that applied to the role. I had a candidate explain to me once that she was a real people person and that numbers just weren’t her thing. The problem was she was interviewing for an Accounting job. It’s possible she had no idea what she was interviewing for. This answer, obviously, did not sell her into getting the role.
#3: Give Specific Examples
One specific example is worth 50 vague stories. Prepare and rehearse your examples prior to the interview. Give specific examples that highlight your successes. The best predictor of future performance is past performance. “Wow” them with all the great, specific examples you have earned from the past. And remember, if it is applicable to the job you are interviewing for, even better!
#4: Develop a List of Questions
Be prepared after every interview to ask the interviewer at least one question. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the company and role from current employees and receive their point of view. Make sure the first question you ask isn’t “How much money will I make” or “How long do I have to be with the company before I can take a vacation”. Although important questions, these are not something to ask right off the bat.
#5: Follow Up
Whether it’s through email or regular mail, the interview follow up is another opportunity to remind the interview team of all the valuable traits you will bring to the company and their team. It is something that isn’t difficult or time consuming and can certainly gain you advantage above the rest.
These are just 5 simple lessons that can greatly enhance the chances of being moved forward in the interview process and save you from another disheartening regret email. Happy interviewing!