It’s September, which means the Major League Baseball regular season is winding down and the pennant races are heating up. With that in mind, this is great opportunity to discuss how you can “hit a home run” during your face-to-face interview.
We’ve blogged before about how you should be more assertive during your interview. However, you should be more strategic about it, as well. In other words, you must create a strategic plan and then you must execute that plan.
Below are three tips for devising your plan, and ultimately, for “hitting a home run” during your next face-to-face interview.
- Create (and communicate) your message. An interview is like any other conversation between people. As the focal point of this particular conversation, you want to engage everyone else. The best way to do this is to convey a message, preferably in the form of a story. This is actually easier than it sounds. Hiring managers aren’t as interested in hearing about experience and certifications as they are in hearing stories about how candidates solved a problem, overcame an obstacle, or met a goal at their previous employer. Stories like these will convey a positive message about yourself and will be more memorable than a list of your skills, no matter how impressive those might be.
- “Market” your potential for growth. A lot of candidates talk about what they’ve already done. While this is certainly important (since past performance is a key indicator of future performance), they don’t talk nearly enough about what they can do or what they’re capable of. No matter who company officials ultimately hire, they want that person to continue to grow and evolve past the original job description. It’s your job to make sure they know that you intend to keep growing and they can benefit from that growth.
- Prepare to NOT be rattled. What does this mean? Some interviewers make it a point to try to “rattle” the people they interview—knock them out of their comfort zone and see how they react. First, expect the unexpected. Second, scour your resume, your level of experience, your expertise, and your overall candidacy, looking for perceived holes or weaknesses. Look at it as if YOU were the hiring manager. What questions would you ask if you were on the other side of the table? Prepare as thoroughly as you can to answer these questions. You can also ask people you trust to look for weaknesses, as well, and to also formulate some tough questions.
So while your favorite baseball team might not be in the midst of a pennant race right now, at the very least you’ll be prepared to “hit a home run” during your next interview!