Hiring managers and recruiters are just like you, people too. As the old saying goes, “they put their pants on one leg at a time,” just like you do. It’s true.
With that said it is important not to get overly nervous or psych yourself out of an opportunity for a great interview. Think of the interview as a conversation or a dialogue and this will help diffuse feelings of being interrogated. Some of the scariest unknown things about interviewing are that you won’t know the answer to a question or that you are unsure of what the interviewer is looking for. Be prepared – know your stuff!
Know the job details. Read the job description thoroughly and know what the job responsibilities are and how you can apply your previous experience to the position. If the position is asking for someone who has good communication skills, give examples that demonstrate how your communications skills have made an impact in a previous role.
Know your resume. It seems simple enough but when is the last time you went line by line through your resume and read it over? Can you articulate what you meant when you put “increased revenue” or “improved processes” on your resume? It is important that you are ready for any question that is asked about any part of your resume.
Know the company. This is another important area to prepare for when interviewing. Saying things like, “the company seems like a cool place to work” or “I really like your products” isn’t going to cut it.
Hiring managers and recruiters want to know that you are not just applying everywhere, hoping that something will stick and someone will notice you. You have to do the ‘work’ if you want to stand out.
With the abundance of information available on the internet via Google and LinkedIn, it is easy to research a company. This extra mile will show you care about working for their company and not just see the position as “a job”.
Know your value. The most critical part of being prepared is to address how you will make a difference in the position if hired. Paint the hiring manager or recruiter a picture, set the scene and tell them how you will contribute in helping them reach that sales goal or save them money.
How will you add value to the position and the company? Give examples. Your interview is your opportunity to illustrate to the hiring manager or recruiter how your strengths and skills will transfer to the position and company.
Know what questions to ask. Don’t forget to bring some questions of your own. Not only does this let the hiring manager or recruiter know that you really want to know as much as you can about the job opportunity, it also helps in turning the interview into a conversation and less into a one-sided discussion with you answering all of the questions. Remember, you are interviewing the company also to make sure it is a good match.
In the end, you may not get a job offer for every interview you go on but each interview is a great opportunity for personal growth because it gives you great interview experience and gets you comfortable with talking about yourself and your skills.
Take the nervousness out of interviewing; know the details of the position, everything that is on your resume, the company you are applying to, how you will make a difference in the position and what questions to ask the hiring manager or recruiter and, most of all, when you feel the nerves creeping up, remember hiring managers and recruiters are people, too.