During an interview, you basically tell stories about your past. Not fables, of course. But real experiences that convey your expertise and knowledge that address the job description. In many instances, interviewees focus on sharing information on all the listed requirements. Interestingly, when it comes to the “soft skill” requirements (written communication, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.), many candidates fall flat by simply saying, “I’m a great _____________ (communicator, team player, problem-solver).
The key to convincing your interviewer that you possess these skills is to include these abilities within your stories. Read this article I wrote for job-hunt.org to learn how.
Article: The Secret to Job Interview Success
Interviewing in person can be hard enough. Add in the “barrier” of a phone line in between you, and there is an added layer of complexity. It is hard to know how you’re doing and how well you are connecting with your interviewer when you can’t see their face. However, there are many non-visual clues and techniques to help you during the call. I’ve written about this topic in the past, but Job-Hunt.org asked me to share my thoughts with their audience. Here is my updated advice on this critical stage in the hiring process.
When it comes to job interviewing, there’s a good chance that some of the questions you’ll be asked come from the “standard library.” This is the collection of the generic, common questions that we all get asked. These questions have stood the test of time because many of them unlock doors to your past that allow the interviewer to get to know you. Although they are standard questions, there is no reason to answer them in a standard way. Or give answers that are as common as the question. My latest article for job-hunt.org explores approaches you might want to consider in answering these questions to allow yourself to make a memorable impression.
Interviewing with confidence is essential. This is common advice for all job seekers. But what is the “right” amount of confidence to show during the interview? Can you be “overconfident”–both internally and displayed? There is a fine line. The key to managing confidence is to prepare well and speak with examples, not superlatives. I explain all this in my latest article for job-hunt.org.
Article: Confidence for Your Job Interviews
A while back, a large computer software company used to ask candidates, “If you could be any kitchen appliance, which one would you be and why?” When I share this with my candidates, I get fun answers, like “I’d be a coffee maker because I’m a morning person.” Or, “A stovetop–I’ve always got several burners going at once.” The reality is, there is no right answer. This is a “panic question.” The interviewer wants to throw a question at you that you’re not expecting and see how (quickly, rationally and calmly) you respond.
Although, some of these zany questions do strive to understand your personality. Sometimes it can be hard to define what exactly is the “right answer.” Understanding the corporate culture before interviewing can help determine if your personality is a fit or not. Then the answer will likely be fitting since your personality is in line with theirs. For example, Applebee’s has asked in the past “What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?” Your answer would likely be different if asked by a law firm or bank, right?
There are many crazy questions. And they can always dream up more. The key is to always show confidence, take a moment to think through your answer (a few seconds may seem long, but it’s not as long as you think), and be honest.
Here are a few more supplied by Glassdoor that you may find interesting, or at least humorous.
Recently I was interviewed by Peggy McKee, career coach and the CEO of Career Confidential, regarding the challenges of interviewing for an IT-related job. A great deal of what we discussed applies to all interviews, but IT interviews have the opportunity to dive deep into tool knowledge and project experience. In this audio file, you’ll hear our thoughts on technical interviews, specifically:
- Preparing for the interview
- Typical questions to expect
- How to approach the interview and present the right information
Link to audio: What You Need to Know to Get an Information Technology Job
A while back, Peggy and I generated a video discussing proper format for resumes, too.
Link to video: Formatting Your Resume to Be Read!
Peggy’s Web site dedicated to helping job seekers find and get the jobs they want. Career Confidential coaches job seekers through every stage in the job search and interview process, from resumes to interviews to follow up. It specializes in providing job seekers with powerful and customizable tools and techniques through blog articles, training videos, templates, and Webinars.
One of the most popular requirements listed for an open job posting is “good communicator.” Most people immediately think something along the lines of “Yes, I am good at communicating my message clearly to individuals and large groups.”
But this is only half of being a good communicator. Hiring managers want to know you are also a good listener. And an interview is a great chance to demonstrate your skills in this area.
Check out my first article for a blog site dedicated to coaching you through your career path: Work Coach Cafe. If you have additional tips on listening skills, please share your comments on either blog.