by Irene Becker, Chief Success Officer, Just Coach It, www.justcoachit.com
Law One: It is not about YOU, it is about them, it's about positioning yourself as the best candidate for the job. Prepare for the job interview by memorizing the job description and qualifications, being prepared to show that you match up to them as well as reading and understanding the mission and vision of the organization. At the first stage in the interview process when you are not face to face with your perspective boss the person interviewing you is simply eliminating candidates. Your mission at this point is to simply match up as best as possible with the job description and qualifications. If you do not match up, if you appear not qualified enough or too qualified you may not be selected for the next round of interviews.
Law Two: Do your research, but do not get stuck in analysis paralysis. Take time to learn about the organization, understand their goals and objectives and how you can add value, if you can find out information about the interviewer, find out information about your prospective boss. Find a reason why you want to work for this organization,why what they do is something you are passionate about. While we like to tell ourselves that buying decisions are intellectual, the decision to buy or in this case to hire is always emotional. The person interviewing you has to feel that you care about the organization, that you are focused on adding value and being part of a winning team and that the mission and vision of the organization resonate with you. In a candidate rich environment YOU need to differentiate yourself not simply by positioning yourself as the best candidate but by also mirroring a passion for the organization. Your mission is to understand the organization, drawing out the interviewer, building rapport and affinity with questions that will position you as the best candidate and also show that you are listening to what he/she is saying.
Law Three: Know your brand, develop three things that make you the best candidate for the job. What are the three features, the three benefits that you bring to the table? Three things, three ways that you add value to an organization. Know them, be able to give examples of how you have accomplished them in other positions. Be prepared to give concrete examples of your successes. Develop a short but powerful narrative around your three key selling points, your brand. Your Mission: Start by determining your key success factors, strengths that have led to previous accomplishment. Use these ksf's to build three differentiators that make you the man or woman for the job.
Law Four: Answer interview questions in a way that positions you as the best candidate and also helps you develop rapport and affinity with the interviewer. In the first interview your focus is simply on matching up with the job description, requirements and leaving the interviewer with the feeling that you are sincere, authentic and an excellent match for the job. In subsequent interviews you need to be prepared to answer questions on topics that will range from education, work experience and history, decision making, leadership, problem solving, how you deal with conflict/stress, management skills, project management skills and personality/behavior based questions. There are a myriad of resources with questions on the internet to help you rehearse answers. Your mission: To position yourself as the best candidate, and this does not mean responding in a canned or rehearsed way, it does not mean giving information that is extraneous and not relevant, it does not mean talking to much but rather saying what is important to always match you up as the ideal candidate for the job description and qualifications.
Law Five: Mirror excellence, ability to be calm and confident under pressure. Come to the interview with a paper and pen, your agenda, copy of your resume and any other marketing collaterals that are relevant, know your three marketing statements or narratives by heart so you can use them when you need to, have a list of brief but important questions you want to ask to position yourself as the best candidate and to also make sure that the culture of the organization and job are a good fit for you. Come dressed for success, make sure you are impeccably groomed and reflect excellence in your attire and demeanor. Your mission: To reflect excellence, professionalism and authenticity in your demeanor, dress and the way you answer questions and ask questions.
Law Six: Have confidence, You need to believe that you are the man/woman for the job before you go into the interview. You need to know all the reasons why you are a match for the job description and requirements. You need to have certainty while not being arrogant. Your mission: Confidence that comes from inside out and is not arrogance. If you are nervous, if you are unable to visualize yourself in the job because you are stressed out, fake it until you make it. Commit to being the perfect candidate, to playing this role for this time period.
Law Seven: Anticipate questions about not only key strengths but challenges. Be prepared to address not only key strengths but also key challenges, using past challenges in a way that shows that you have learned from them and they have better positioned you to excel in the job you are interviewing for. Never speak against previous employers or people you have worked for. If there was a problem, frame it in a way that is positive. Never bring up areas of challenge unless you are asked for them. Your Mission: Know your strengths and find a way to frame or position challenges in a way that shows that you learn from challenges, even mistakes and will use them to do better in the position you are interviewing for.
Law Eight: Connect and develop rapport. Mirror the same body language as the interviewer, use the same type of language, use language that mirrors the mission and vision statement of the organization and the language in the job description and qualifications. Do not talk too much, rather try to draw the interviewer out and have them ask you more questions. Try to find a common bond with the interviewer, something you share in common as it builds rapport. LISTEN, listen to questions and take your ego, your need for validation out o the listening process. Try to understand why the interviewer is really asking the question and what they want to hear. If you need to pause to think about a question, pause and reflect. Make sure to show interest in what the interviewer is saying and asking, do not regurgitate canned answers. Your mission: Affinity, authenticity, excellent communication that positions you as the best candidate because YOU know (or you are faking it until you make it-playing the role completely) that you are the right candidate for the job.
Law Nine: Remember YOUR intention, YOUR goals. The interview is not about YOU, it is about them. The interviewer only cares about discovering that you are the best candidate for the job. Your mission: Develop rapport, position yourself as a match for the job and ask what next steps are before you leave the interview. You need to be clear about the hiring process, and if you are not selected to go to the next step you want to know why in a way that is not abrasive but will help you gain greater understanding. Your Mission: Develop rapport, position yourself as the best candidate and ask about the next steps
Law Ten: Ask pertinent questions. Ask questions that will develop rapport and will also help you speak about your strengths as they relate to the job and show what you bring to the table. Have questions about the organization and the role prepared before you go into the interview. You want to answer and ask questions that will help you and the interviewer conclude that you are the best candidate and that you are a great fit for the culture, role and organization. Your mission: Understand the role, the organization and what makes you the best fit for the job. Share this understanding with the interviewer through your questions and answers.