Interviews are tricky things – you never know the rules of engagement, it is hard to figure out what they are looking for, and you feel like an ant under a glass. One thing to remember, is that an interview is a participatory process – it is not just one way. When you walk into the new organization, the interview has already begun. That old song…”The minute you walked in the door….” they can tell if they like you or not. So, focus on what you are there to do – not just give a good impression, but to gather information to make a sound decision for both parties. Think back to step one of what I had suggested every job seeker do in the beginning – craft a personal vision statement - the blog posting is linked here. If you are unsure of what you want, what you want to do, how you want to do it and what you want to achieve, how can you know if this place is right?
When you are at the interview stage, you should have your research completed, but you can still figure out a few questions that are more relevant before the interview begins. That was Tip One for success – be interested and interesting. To logically move into the flow now, here is Tip Two in my Winning Interview Tips for Success postings:
Give and Take
Keep in mind your objectives, desires, and goals, which are the building block of your personal vision statement. The organization is performing a risk assessment on you, and you are performing one on them. Remember, both you and the interviewer need to acquire information that helps you to assess risk – the risk of you joining this organization. If you just keep trying to make that “good impression” so you can get the job offer, you will likely be very nervous, not ask questions that come out of a conversation and read from a list instead, and make mistakes along the way. When you are in a workplace you never read from a cue card, you have conversations. This is how people communicate, and it is what makes sense for an interview as well. Take it easy, relax, and most importantly – listen. Focus on what you should really be doing – giving information that can be used for making a decision, and getting a feel for the new organization and deciding if you want to continue. In your case, you need information on the job, your boss, your peers, expectations of performance, and the organization. Is this really the place you want to work? Does this new work family feel like they would be a welcome, inviting group? Will it be right for you? The employer also has similar questions about you – they want to keep the bad out of the house as well.
Thanks for reading, be sure to come back for more tips as well as leaving some of your own in the comments area.