A job interview, like any other type of interview, is a conversation with a purpose. In many ways, the interviewer is just as important and equal in that two-way conversation as the job candidate being interviewed. The more you can get inside the mind of a job interviewer, the better prepared you’ll be for the interview.
We asked career consultant Simon North for his top 5 tips on how to make this happen…
- Assume They’ve Prepared - You would be surprised at how many interviewers there are who are not prepared. This doesn’t make the interviewer a bad person. What it means is this interview was possibly dumped on them at short notice and/or they just haven’t had a chance to prepare. But even if that is the case, you have to remain cool, calm and collected because the interviewer is trying so hard to do the same and they don’t want to show their own weakness and inadequacy to you. Out of respect, think about the situation from their point of view and behave as neutrally as you can despite what you’ve noticed.
- Review Your CV - Most interviewers have limited data on you. The main data typically available to them is your CV. As we know, a CV deals with your experience in a linear sense. According to it, you were born, went to school, got your qualifications and worked for XY and Z. Yet when you think of yourself, you don’t think of yourself in this linear fashion at all but you take into consideration all that you are at this very moment. Change your thinking to get into the mind of an interviewer who thinks about you in a linear way. Do this by looking at your CV and what you’ve said about what you were doing at various points in your life. Consider what the interviewer would really like to know about each of these phases in your life.
- Check Their Role - Find out who the person is and what they’re here for. It sounds basic but if you know what their role at the organization is, you’ll know whether they’re doing this interview purely to tick a few boxes and push you through to next stage, or because they’re a major decision maker at the company. This will help you understand what preparation you need to do, what stage you’re at in the assessment process and what the interviewer’s part in this process is.
- Understand Their Criteria - Understand what value the interviewer seeks from you as a candidate and as a potential member of their team. The more you study the job description and decipher what’s needed, the more you’ll comprehend the interviewer’s needs and requirements. Therefore, the more likely you are to display in the interview the value you have that aligns with the value they’re seeking.
- Do Your Research - Research the job role and the interviewer and be really tenacious about the research; don’t presume anything. Base your research on facts, not assumptions. Don’t give any significance to people around you who hold unfounded theories about the organization, position or anything else. Where you think you may be making an assumption, check out the facts until you know the conclusion you’ve drawn is the right one.
Simon North is Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading Career Consultancies and co-author of their eBook How to Ace the Interview. Simon co-founded Position Ignition.com to provide career consulting to people looking for guidance and support through their career change, new career direction, job search and career development.