Thinkpivot Talent Solutions

Are you ready for your interview?

Interviewing hasn’t changed very much over the last 30 years (maybe longer but that would require someone older than me to tell the tale).

You sit down with someone, they ask you questions, maybe give you a test and then let you ask questions. The interviewer then has to figure out if you can do the job and will you fit their company culture.  So much of this process is about chemistry that each interview is unique between the interviewer and the interviewee with no 100% guarantee the right decision will be made whether you have 1 interview or nine interviews. At some point the person who will manage this individual has to make a decision on whether they can successfully manage and integrate them into the organization.

So how do you prepare for a situation where you do not know what it is like to work within a company or for an individual.

Over the years I have seen many different styles of interview coaching and prepping usually centred around the things that may turn people off.  Some recruiting consultants would spend an hour on the phone coaching a candidate with the candidate forgetting everything after the third minute of the call. It is still true though that individual turn offs are the biggest problems in an interview. So, it is still better to:

Be dressed more formally and conservative than usual daily work wear.

Not ask about money, benefits, promotions until they want to make you an offer.

Not be negative about any previous employer or manager.

Answer questions directly. If you meander without a “yes or no” it will be noticed as a non-answer.

Know your resume. Be able to explain it in a narrative and deal with setbacks or gaps head on in a positive manner.

Ask questions and not talk too much. (you think the interview is about you but it is about them)

Sit up straight and not fidget.

Be confident not arrogant.

Live close by (not much you can do about this)

Not make more money than they are currently willing to offer. (or this)

Not be older than the picture in their head. (or this)

Have interests that can connect with the interviewer (or even this, although you can fake it)

What can you do? That is the question. 


Being prepared is many things however, so let’s boil it down to 2 questions that you should answer in the interview.  If you can’t answer them you are not prepared.

  1. Why do you want to work here?
  2. Why should I hire you?
  1. Why do you want to work here?

This question requires you do all the research you can about the company, manager, team, department etc… It can be a little or a lot depending on your knowledge and experience level. With LinkedIn and detailed websites this is easier than ever. When you can honestly answer this question so that you find it compelling (ideally to the interviewer as well) you are finished doing your research.

  • Why should I hire you?

This question requires that you understand yourself and what you bring to any given employer and that you listen in the interview. Once you understand the company from your research in question 1 you must ask questions and listen to the interviewer.  Even bad interviewers will tell you what they are looking for.  You must connect the wants of the company and interviewer with the qualities and experience that you have.

Will this get you the job you want?  Maybe. I still get a million different reasons back on why someone is not a fit for any given company and I am continually surprised at some of them.

If you are prepared and can answer these 2 questions in any interview then you will have done all you can.  If you are not chosen for the role then it will be on them not you. When this happens, onwards and upwards.

Kevin Hamann

Managing Director

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