Wednesday, July 02, 2014

There is no Magic to Mastering an Interview

Know Yourself, Be Yourself

To interview well, you need to know yourself and you need to be yourself.  The moment you try to fabricate an answer to a question you really don’t know the answer to, the smart person across the phone line or across the table from you will know you’re not for real.  The moment you attempt to be someone you’re not, unless you’ve taken a lot of acting classes, you will likely drive a torpedo into your interview.  

Authenticity wins.

Slick and Fancy Does Not Work

There is nothing slick or fancy one can do to land a job.  Just the opposite is true.  The candidate who knows himself / herself and the candidate who interviews from a position of strength from intimately knowing and understanding his / her strengths will win the job.  

Interview from a position of Strength and Clarity.

Do Not Oversell

There is no room in an interview for over-selling.  Interviews are always a balance of give and take.  The way interviews work is simple.  The employer has an agenda.  The employer has problems to solve and opportunities to gain once they hire the right person.

Your job as a job candidate is to listen and to ask questions to figure out what problems the employer needs to have solved.  The more you align your past experiences with the problems your future employer has to solve, the more likely it is that the employer will begin to tell you about the opportunities that might exist in their organization for you once you join the team.

Attempting to sell an employer something they don’t want or need from the preconceived agenda you brought to the interview will fail every time. 

Listen more than you talk.

Interviews Require Focus

What do you focus on in an interview?  You focus on what the employer wants to know rather than what you want to share.  

Every employer either has problems to solve or opportunities to gain once they hire the right team.  Your job at the outset of an interview is to ask, listen and learn.  The more you can align your communication with the employer’s needs, the more likely you’ll win. 

Ask, Listen and Listen more!

What Questions Should You Ask in an Interview?
  • Ask how you can bring value to the employer
  • Ask about the first couple of projects that will require your skills and attention
  • Ask about the management and/or leadership style of your future boss
  • Ask how your contribution will be measured to know whether you're succeeding or not
These are just a few ideas of questions you can take to your next interview.'s Security Recruiter Blog