Interviewing can be intimidating and scary! One of the most common interview fears that I often hear about is the fear of not knowing how to answer certain types of questions in particular, behavioral based questions. If you research interviewing tips you will typically come across very basic and generic guidance such as researching the company, compile a list of interview questions and potential answers, research the interviewer blah, blah, blah… Don’t get me wrong all of these things are important, but I have a different approach that works every time!
A while back I was reading a book on interviewing and stumbled across a very interesting statistic “Studies show that more than 60% of interviewers have never been trained in the task of interviewing.” In fact, “Most managers report that they feel nervous, anxious, confused, stressed and even incompetent when taking on the responsibility of interviewing.” Wow! When I read this the first thought that came to mind was “how true.” As a Human Resources professional I’ve witnessed this for myself and coached managers on how to conduct interviews.
What does this mean for you??? It means you have more control of the situation than you realize. Here are my 5 keys to interviewing fearlessly and landing the career of your dreams.
- Convince “YOU” First.
Identify your WHY. To do this, you can start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Why do I want this career?
- Why do I believe this position and/or career path is a good fit for me?
- What can I offer this company and this particular role?
- How will this position benefit me and my family? Is this company and position aligned with my CORE Values? If so, how?
It’s vital that you complete a self-assessment and determine your connection to the role you’re interviewing for. If you know WHY, than you can easily and confidently articulate WHY you’re the best choice to someone else. If you take the time and do this right, you will have all the answers to any question they can possibly ask you. Do the work!
- Check Your Inventory.
Be prepared to answer questions about how you were able to solve a problem, handle conflict, a project that didn’t go as planned (and what you learned from it/what you would do differently), your accomplishments, etc. Make a list of what you’ve been praised for by previous employers, what have you been told that you’re good at? , and what are your opportunities for improvement? It’s ok to take a few minutes and think of any examples for these types of questions during the interview, but it’s always best to be prepared and have a few examples in mind.
- Do Your Research.
Yes, you need to research the company. This doesn’t have to be an extensive research project where you have to know every detail, but at minimum you should be able to explain to someone else what the company does. Develop an elevator speech about the Company prior to the interview. You also want to have some familiarity with the interviewer prior to the interview, you can use resources like LinkedIn or if accessible online a company directory. You just need an idea of the interviewer’s background and experience there may be some similarities and details you can use during your interview to develop a relationship and give the interviewer a better idea of who you really are and what you may be like to work with.
- Role Play.
Practice, Practice, Practice. You don’t want to sound robotic during your interview, but if this is your first interview and/or you haven’t done very many interviews you need to practice answering questions and being comfortable with talking about yourself. This is difficult for most people, but it’s important to master. I would suggest practicing with a friend or family member that has an HR background or working with a Career Coach.
- Dress for Success.
We’ve all heard this before. When you look good, you feel good and you perform better. Dress the part, it will boost your confidence and make a good first impression. Call me old fashioned, but nothing makes a better statement than a nice suit. Keep it polished and professional.
Cassandra Holdsclaw is an Entrepreneur and Career Coach to women. She has a background in Human Resources Management and has a true passion for helping women find happiness in their career. She recently launched a career coaching company called Career Talk With Cassandra. Career Talk With Cassandra was created to inspire, motivate, equip and empower women to use their voice to obtain the career of their dreams refusing to settle. Career Talk With Cassandra offers a wide range of programs and services from individual coaching to workshops and keynote speeches.
To contact Cassandra, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on the following social media sites: