Get The Job with these 7 Interview Tips
Over the past 15 years I have learned a lot about how to interview well. I have had the opportunity to interview for new roles, interview others for open roles on my team, and experience next level interviews with some great leaders.
I still remember the candidates who "stuck out" to me during their interview. Here are some of the key things they did well.
Know the details of the role you are applying for. This seems like common sense and, still, there would be candidates who would come in and not be able to answer the question, "What do you know about the role you are applying for today?" Or, "What makes you a good fit for this position?"
Research the company and the hiring manager(s) before your interview. What are their core values? Often times, knowing these will allow you to tailor your answers in a way that shows you know and care about what the company stands for (if you do not care about what the company stands for, I would suggest looking for a different company). Knowing the hiring manager is also key. You do not want to go in sharing all the details you found out while stocking their social media pages and Googling them but, you do want to be able to relate to them on a personal level and show you care enough about the role to take the time to do your research.
Dress for the job you want. If you are going in for a Director role (you probably know this by now), you will want to look professional. Researching the company will help you understand their culture but, if they are a jeans and t-shirt kind of company, it is still best to dress more on the professional side for your interview. Most hiring managers understand that they get the very best you on interview day. Researching the meaning of colors is also a good way to portray the proper message. First impressions are more important than any other impression.
Ask great questions. Many sales leaders have told me they base hiring decisions more on the questions that the candidate asks rather than how they respond to their questions. An example of a great question is, "A year from now, we are celebrating an amazing year, what would have happened during that year?" This is a great question because it gets the hiring manager thinking about you in the role. Even better, it gets them thinking about you being successful in the role and now, you know exactly what your future leader wants from you.
Get them to talk more than you. People love to talk and if you can get your hiring manager to talk more than you during the interview, chances are, they will like you. An important note here is it needs to be business related talk. Starting up a series of small talk has the potential to annoy a busy leader. If you can ask great questions about his or her career, the company's future plans, and the needs of their current team, you will have a lot of great information needed to make an informed decision and you will stand out from the other candidates.
Express interest for the role and ASK for the job. This can be done in a few different ways. Only do this if you are truly interested and want the job. It does not look good if you say you want the job in the interview and decline the offer. Be honest and if you really want the job, let them know! Here are some examples of how to ask for the job. "Thank you for your time today. I know I am the perfect fit for this role because _____. Now that you know more about me, do you think I am the best fit for this role?" Most hiring managers will not give you a straight answer to this question but, it gives you a chance to get their point of view and follow up their response with something like, "I am very interested in this role and I hope you give me the opportunity to join your team." Do not leave it at that, get next steps. Ask them what happens next (hiring decision, next interview, etc...), and when you can expect to hear from them. If you do not hear from them by the time they said you would then follow up with them. This shows you are organized and care about getting the job.
Send a thank you email, handwritten card, or both. As a sales leader, I would not hire someone unless they sent some sort of follow up. It was part of our sales process too which made it even more important. This is something that takes a few minutes and can be the deciding factor if you and someone else had equally great interviews and you decided to send a thank you. In the email, you can recap the reasons why you are the best fit for the role. Hiring managers are interviewing dozens of people and, often times, they are doing back to back interviews. They might be excited about you when you are there and that little extra reminder will be a great way to keep you top of mind.
Interviewing can be intimidating at any level, especially if you have not done it for years. Follow these helpful reminders and get yourself that new role!