One of the toughest challenges you face is the job interview. You may be extremely well qualified, and talented, but unless you can demonstrate this in your interview, you will be overlooked when it comes to a job offer. I’ve coached hundreds of professionals and executives, helping them ace their interviews, and land great job offers through applying the following tactics:
Leverage your connections. A Federal Reserve Bank of New York study found that referred candidates have a 40% greater chance of being selected. So, don’t fail to mine your network (including LinkedIn) for anyone that can refer you into an organization, or better yet, is willing to personally connect with the Hiring Manager to promote you as the candidate of choice.
Fully research the role you are targeting. Amazon BuyVIP Country Manager, Andreas von der Heydt notes in his article, How You Succeed At Every Job Interview!, that he is “surprised at just how many candidates would arrive at interviews, even for senior level positions, having not studied our values, mission statements, products, etc.”. Avoid this costly mistake by dedicating time to industry, company, and interviewer research. Dive deep to: determine the critical issues impacting the organization, identify the challenges and opportunities in their market, know their leaders (by name and role/position), understand their corporate culture, and more.
Tailor your interview answers to highlight your successes related to the role you are targeting. This might sound obvious but many highly qualified candidates miss the boat by responding with generalities and not directly to issues related to the position’s needs. Der Heydt notes that: “those that did not get the job might not have necessarily been less capable (but) they were just not able to communicate or deliver what was expected of them in the crucial moments of the interview.”
Ensure your interview answers highlight your track record of success, addressing concerns and issues impacting the role. For example, through your research you have uncovered the organization has quality control issues. During your interview, highlight your successes in turning around operational performance through introducing quality management systems which have resulted in higher productivity, greater efficiency and lower operational costs.
Bridge the gap – get to know your interviewer. We hire people we know and like. The Kellogg School of Management studied this phenomenon when they researched executives within Professional Services firms. Their study shows that interviewers hire people who they like and feel they can be friends with, over always having the right skill set. So, research the interviewer so you can quickly build rapport during the interview.
Thanks to social media, there is a huge amount of personal information about your interviewers online. Knowing their: professional background, education, interests, books read, etc. will make it much easier for you to identify with and build a rapport with your interviewer and show you can fit into their culture.
Preparing for your next interview? For more tips, check out Joanne’s blogs:
- Landing Interviews but not Job Offers? Conduct an Interview Audit
- Ace the Interview Tip: What’s your body language saying about you?
- Powerful Questions to Ask during your Job Interview
- Got a Skype Interview coming up?
Going on interviews and not landing offers? Let’s connect for a complimentary telephone Interview Audit. I’ll review your previous interviews to determine what you need to do to ace the interview and land job offers.
Wishing you much career success!
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in coaching professional and executive clients, and providing career advancement strategies. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.