Part 2 of 2 – View from the Employee Perspective
As in all human interaction, the individual who is better prepared usually comes out on top. Many young people, who are exposed to this process for the first time, often find it traumatic and are susceptible to wilt under the pressure of intense questioning. Being Interviewed is not something that anyone does often so it is always useful, even for those who have had prior experience, to prime themselves on winning communication techniques that have served others well.
Show them how you can fit – Use the internet to research the company where you are applying for a job. Then show the interviewer how your education, knowledge, experience, skills make for a good fit with the mission, goals and objectives of the company. Break this down carefully by preparing a spreadsheet that matches demand with supply – their needs for the job and your fulfillment for each need.
Check your negative body language – Be aware of the negative signals that body language can inadvertently send to someone who has a keen sense of what they indicate. Be conscious of such telltale signs as: eye movement, nervous hands or ticks, constant crossing of legs, and leaning too far back or forward in your seat. These body movements may be viewed as confidence issues.
Control the verbalization rhythm– Speak in an evenly paced manner, and don’t allow yourself to get on a cascade of words that spills out unwanted and unasked information. Keep to short and precise answers, which show control under pressure and command of the situation.
Be self-reflective – Bring up specific situations in the past that did not achieve the desired results at first, but with more analysis and thought were turned around. This does not only have to be about your previous job, life changing decisions are also pertinent in this case. Everyone makes mistakes but not all learn from their errors.
Provide examples – Working well under pressure is a requirement for just about any job, and almost a certain question by an interviewer. Be prepared to offer several examples, which will leave no doubt that you have actually faced and solved problems under the pressure of time and budgetary restraints. The more details you provide the more plausible it becomes. The interviewer will be looking for hints of exaggeration and hubris.
Take a time out – Stop yourself from making any impulsive remarks by asking for a moment to reflect on the answer. Try to quickly assess where the question may be leading and provide an answer that is carefully thought out and worded. It may not be a perfect response, but at least it will have the benefit of forethought.
Look right – Provide an attractive external reflection of yourself by dressing appropriately for the interview. You achieve this by checking the company’s website for a clue of the company’s dress code. Try and imitate the appearance that is projected on their company’s visuals. In general, staying away from extremes is always a safer way to go.
Switch seats – Become the interviewer by asking well-prepared and probing questions about the company at appropriate moments. This kind of researched approach to the interview will always earn brownie points as long as it is not overly sycophantic. Find certain commonalities between your philosophy and that of the company’s stated mission and strategic position.
Pay and benefits as an afterthought – Don’t ask what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. Too much focus on salary and benefits will usually turn off the interviewer. You should know beforehand what your value is in the marketplace for the type of job that you are seeking. There is ample statistical data on the internet for every region. Leave this for the end, and don’t start a negotiating process at this stage. Review the offer afterward against the known criteria and make the decision on whether it is fair or not. If you get a formal job offer this will be the appropriate time to nail down a fair package for your participation.
Be open to a trial – Many companies see auditioning as the true test of whether a candidate fulfills the job requirements and fits well into the company’s culture. Be prepared to embrace a trial for a short period of time, providing that it does not take advantage of you from a remuneration and time-frame basis. No trial should exceed ninety days – the shorter the better. Make sure that the interviewer knows that you have other options. Whenever possible, keep looking at other jobs during the trial to make sure you are not left in the cold in case of a rejection.