4 Things Candidates Need to Know before the Big Interview!

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As a job candidate, to have more success in landing a job you need to understand what it is the recruiter/hiring manager really wants to know.  Recent surveys of recruiters, search professionals and so on suggest that there are only four main questions to which hiring managers want answers:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you like the job?
  3. Will you like working with us?
  4. Will we like working with you?

All other questions asked during the interview are designed to reveal the answers to the four questions above.  Let’s break down each question and see how you can best tackle these obstacles.

Can you do the job? – Can you?  I mean can you really do the job?  If not, then don’t apply for the position.  There is no kind-hearted old woman on the other side of the application process just waiting to take a chance on inexperienced little ole you.  Organizations are employing applicant tracking systems at an increased rate to filter out the hundreds of unqualified candidates who apply for their positions.  If you can’t do the job then their computer program will kick you out.  Please don’t pepper your resume with keywords so that you make it through to the video interview if you aren’t actually qualified.  You are wasting your time and the organization’s.

If you can do the job and your resume is legitimate then let that shine in the interview.  Thoroughly research the position and company before the face-to-face so that you can speak about how your skills and accomplishments ideally suit the position.

Will you like the job? – You have to show enthusiasm in the interview and you must speak directly to why the job is a good fit for you.  If you are unable to do this through lack of excitement then the hiring manager will catch on.  As a recruiter we often finished our interviews with the candidate by asking: “What is your interest level and enthusiasm for this opportunity?”  We wanted to make sure the candidate wasn’t just trying to get a paycheck.  If we placed the candidate into a position in which they weren’t really enthusiastic, they might leave within three months and we would be required to replace them for free.  Asking this question enabled us to determine if the candidate was truly interested, or if they were a poser. If you are not interested in the position then don’t waste the hiring organization’s time or that of other job candidates who truly are passionate about the position.

Will you like working with us? – In our past recruiting efforts we often showed a video interview we conducted with the hiring manager to the candidates prior to the interview.  For one, this allowed the candidates to provide better answers during the interview by touching upon information the hiring manager communicated during their interview.  The second reason was to determine if the candidate felt they could work for the hiring manager after learning a little bit more about their management style.  Again, we didn’t want our candidates jumping ship soon after reporting for work.  Research, research, research!  Learn about the company to which you are applying, find out if they represent your values and then explain again why your personality and goals gel with their organization.

Will we like working with you? – Even if you handle all the other steps above brilliantly, you are still likely to fail this last question which of course a hiring manager will never ask you directly.  A recent survey of over 1,700 hiring managers revealed that 88% of them will choose a candidate for personality over skills.  Yep, odds are your PhD in Meteorite Laser Drilling will do you little good if the hiring manager’s gut feeling tells him/her that your personality just isn’t going to match up with them or the organization.

Fitting in is something you pretty much can’t fake nor do I suggest you try.  If you attempt to be something you’re not, chances are they might have liked the person you really are rather than the person you are trying to be.  Reasons why they might discriminate against you are numerous but don’t let it be for something within your control like an overpowering smokers smell.  Follow the steps above in addition to representing yourself professionally.  A few services allow you to practice interviewing online.  Additionally there are numerous articles on how best to carry yourself during the interview.

Here’s to success in finding a great job!

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