Interviewing is an art versus a science. There are no tricks. There are no gimmicks.
Mastering an interviewing comes down to pure communication. You have control over some of this communication but you’ll never have control over all the communication that occurs in an interview.
While you can prepare for an interviewer’s questions, you’ll never know exactly what will be asked of you in an interview.
What you have 100% control over is what you choose to say during your interview.
- You have control over how you choose to articulate your past stories of accomplishment, contribution and value delivered to previous employers.
- You have complete control over knowing how to articulate what it is that you bring to the table in terms of skills. Focus on skills that matter most to your interviewing audience.
- You have control over how you talk about past successes and past failures. You should use both successes and failures as opportunities for learning and growing. How you express what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown makes all the difference in an interview.
- You have control over the questions you ask in an interview. Ask questions about the company. Ask questions about the job itself. Ask the hiring manager to articulate his / her management style. Research shows that people leave bad manager relationships far more often than they leave because of larger company issues.
- Those who strategically take interviewing to the next level invest in learning their unique personal strengths. They know how to articulate what they have potential to be great at and they know how to articulate what they should say “NO” to based on how they are wired.
Those who approach interviews with extreme Clarity, Confidence and Direction are the ones who get offers for the best jobs.
Acing An Interview
"Ace Your Interview with Perfect Interview Answers"
This was the subject of an email that recently landed in my Inbox. This kind of email subject drives me crazy. Here's why.
- There are no tricks to acing an interview.
- There are no perfect interview answers.
My Advice For Performing Well In An Interview
- Communicate with clarity about what you're great at and what you're not great at.
- Know how to articulate what you're great at by backing up what you say you're great at with stories of past accomplishments and contributions and well-articulated aspirations of what you want to accomplish in your future.
- We're all not great at something. Know exactly what you're not great at and know how to articulate what you're doing to manage your weaknesses.
- Honesty and accuracy is always your best strategy.
- If you're younger and you're chasing a job that is above you, know your unique personal strengths and know how to tie your strengths to the job you're stretching towards.
- If you're older, know your unique personal strengths. Know how to tie your unique personal strengths and hopefully the wisdom you now have to the job you can easily contribute to.
- Be sure to show up to your interview with questions. Questions should not be one-dimensional. Ask technical questions, business questions, questions about the hiring authority's management style and more.
Knowing yourself inside and out and knowing something about the company you're about to interview with is your responsibility when you go to an interview. Being prepared to ask strong questions is your responsibility when you go to an interview.
If you don't know your unique personal strengths, consider strengths coaching. Knowing your unique personal strengths will go a long way towards bringing clarity to your interview process.
If interviewing is uncomfortable to you, don't risk leaving a job offer on the table. If you need interview coaching, invest in yourself and get interview coaching.
The Phone Call
My phone rang. On the other end was an enthusiastic Human Resource (HR) person at a very large company. She told me that her company had several positions to fill and they’d just fired an executive retained search firm that wasn’t producing. Interesting but I needed to know a lot more before allowing this hot potato to be dropped into my hands.
The HR person told me about a senior executive who had recently been relieved of his duties because he was creating significant turnover. She told me about the great products her company was creating. She told me about all the opportunity that existed for the right people if they were to join the company now that the bad manager was gone.
My Wheels Were Turning
When the HR person stopped talking, I had at least 30 questions built up in my head. I wanted to know how long the bad manager was there before action was taken. I wanted to know how many people left because of the bad manager. The answer was that he was there far too long and far too much damage had been done.
What's The Hiring Manager Like?
I asked about the executives who were still on board. I asked the HR person to describe the particular executive the open positions would report to.
“He’s really Cool…He Drives a Maserati!”
This is all she had to say about the hiring manager.
I was thinking more along the lines of managerial style, ability to communicate effectively, the hiring manager’s ability to build trust, the hiring manager’s character, ethics and values, etc.
People Leave Bad Managers
It has been said that people don’t leave companies nearly as often as they leave bad managers. I hope I don’t know anybody who would take a job with someone simply because they drive a certain kind of car.
If you are considering a new position, learn how to interview your potential employer in order to clearly understand what you might be walking into. If you join a toxic company, it will likely continue to be a toxic company long after you’ve moved on.
It is your resume that will show a bad career move and it is your body that will absorb the damaging stress that comes from being misaligned with a job that does not align with your personal strengths and your personal values.