10 Dec 4 key steps to delivering a Winning Interview
You dedicated the time to developing an outstanding resume, and it has paid off: You’ve been granted an Interview. Congratulations! But now is not the time to sit back and relax. Now you have to deliver a powerful Interview. I am a Professional Career Coach and I want to share with you 4 key steps to delivering a winning Interview.
Hiring someone is a huge investment of time, money and resources on the part of the business, so you can be certain that they want to make sure they’re getting the best person for the position.
Your Resume has given them the facts about you but now they want to get a sense of you in ways that a Resume cannot communicate: who you are, what you will be like to work with, your attitude, energy, ability to communicate, openness, are you who you say you are, will you fit in with their work culture etc. Don’t underestimate these! The Interviewer will be looking at all of these areas.
The Interview has a lot to do with Emotional Intelligence, and the responsibility does not rest solely on the shoulders of the Interviewer to find it in you. You need to offer up this content in the Interview, and your preparation in the following areas can help do this. With these steps you can close the gap between wanting the job and demonstrating that you are actually the perfect fit for it.
90% of how you perform in an Interview comes down Preparation. Here are some important areas to focus on of you want to deliver a winning Interview:
- Practice your Resume the way an actor practices a script: Read it out loud/standing up, and do this many, many times. This will upload all the pertinent information to your brain as well as help your brain and the physiological aspects of speaking become familiar with communicating the phrases. Trust me when I say that this will make it much easier for you to answer questions. As well, this will ensure that you ‘match’ your Resume, which is especially important for those of you who didn’t write your Resume yourself.
- Work with a Career Coach to practice Interview questions and improve your delivery. Do not try to memorize your answers. This is a common mistake people make. The result is that your answers come across forced and robotic, and that’s if you remember the answers! Instead, through consistent training/practice, become so familiar with the content, that you are naturally able to answer any question. Don’t underestimate the amount of practice you need to put into this, and keep in mind that it’s always better to go in over-prepared than under-prepared.
- Put in the time to learn everything you can about the company: who they are, their history, their mission statement, goals for the future and their work culture. All this information should be readily available on their website. To take this even further, it can greatly benefit certain Interviews to know the challenges their particular industry face, new developments etc. Bringing this quality of content to the Interview will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.
- Know everything you can about the job you are Interviewing for! The Interviewer will overlook your nervousness, but if you don’t know the very nature of the job you’re applying for (job description and responsibilities), you’ll be out of the running quickly.
- Answer the questions Authentically while making sure you maximize the opportunity in each question to align your skills, experience and commitment, with the job you’re applying for.
- Prepare a few intelligent questions to ask the Interviewer at the end of your Interview. Questions that shows an interest in the company, and how you can grow within it, are much better than asking how many vacation days you get.
- Have a copy of your Resume with you as well as writing material. Do not forget a pen!! You’ll be surprised how many people do, and it’s a sign of not being prepared. Take everything in a hardcover folder so that nothing gets crumpled.
- Arrive at the Interview at least 20 mins. ahead of time so that you can orient yourself with the space, calm your nerves, clear your mind, center your energy and be able to present yourself in the most professional light possible.
Why does all of this matter? It’s not enough to have it written in your Resume that you are a top tier candidate who pays attention to detail and deserves the job. You must DEMONSTRATE it in the Interview. The Interviewer needs to get a clear message that if you put this much attention and integrity into preparing for the Interview, they can expect you to bring the same quality to the job.
Yes, absolutely, be yourself but make sure it’s the BEST and truest version of yourself that you’re bringing to the Interview. This includes:
- Be well-rested. Show the Interviewer the energy and vitality you will bring to this job. As well, and importantly, remember that along with getting a good night’s sleep, what you eat, drink and consume/engage in the day BEFORE the interview will affect your energy, mood and mindset the day of it. Therefore, plan wisely!
- Please (!!) do not just roll out of bed, and go to the Interview. Be up a few hours beforehand, bathe, make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, eat a breakfast or lunch that gives you energy not depletes it. Read your Resume out loud and practice some Interview questions.
- Pay close attention to personal grooming. It sounds so basic that you might wonder why I’m mentioning it. You’d be surprised how many of these smaller points get over-looked. So: clean hair, nails, clothes and shoes (yes, shoes really do matter!). Jewelry should be understated. Use perfume/cologne with great restraint. Check yourself in a full length mirror before leaving for the interview. You can’t go wrong with smart-professional attire as it is sign for respect to the Interviewer and the company.
- Be confident without being arrogant or entitled. I can’t say enough about this one. Know the value you bring to the table and have a sense of pride about it, but leave your ego at the door.
Be Interesting and Interested
Let the Interviewer get to know you. Rather than giving short blunt answers requiring the Interviewer to ‘dig’ in order to learn more about you, offer relevant information. ‘Want’ them to get to know you. Be interested in your answers. Communicate them intelligently and with positive energy. Be open to sharing information, but don’t ramble.
Show interest and enthusiasm for being in the Interview and having a chance to learn more about the company. Smile and maintain warm eye contact that says you’re happy to be there. When the time is right, ask meaningful questions.
Be Mindful of your Attitude
Bring your energy forward: be ready, alert, engaged, interested and positive! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a great Resume only to discover that the attitude of the person it belongs to is underwhelming. You can lose the job based on your attitude. You can also clinch the job based on it! Be aware of how you’re coming across: tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, attitude, choice of words. It all counts.
When practicing your interview questions, it is an excellent idea to audio/video record yourself. It will give you a clear sense of the areas that you need to improve.
So there you have it, some key steps for delivering a winning Interview! I wish you the greatest success in being awarded the position you are applying for, and if you need any help with preparing for your Interview, please contact me!
1. A must read from Business News Daily!: What is your Body Language telling your Interviewer
2. Set your brain up for giving a great Interview by feeding it what it needs! From the Harvard Health Blog: Nutritional Psychiatry, Your Brain on Food
3.From Virginia Tech, here are 12 Tips for Developing and Practicing Professionalism
4. Here are some tips from a Talent Aquisition Manager. Job Interview Tip: How to show a positive Attitude
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Thank you for taking time to read this post! The right information at the right time is a most powerful catalyst for change. For Coaching, Workshops or an Inspiring Talk on this valuable topic, contact me!
(c) Titans International Inc. Kristina Jansz 2019, 2020-2050