It’s one thing to have a great résumé. It’s another thing altogether to be able to convey your experience, knowledge and skills during the interview process. While some thrive under the watchful eye of interviewers, others find the experience incredibly daunting. Here are three tips to consider the next time you’re sitting in the hot seat.
If you’re applying for a high-level position you’ll be expected to have done some research. Spend some time online, looking at the company’s website, searching for recent articles about them, and learning about their position in the industry. You never know when you’ll be asked what you thought of the company’s half yearly report, your opinion on the new product they recently launched, or how you feel about their recent acquisition of a competitor. You don’t need to know all the ins and outs, but you need to display a genuine interest and a basic understanding of the company you’re applying to work for, and, ideally, some original thoughts and ideas about their business.
Just because you’ve followed the first tip and avidly done your research doesn’t mean your should flood your interview with buzz words and technical terms. If you do use complex, industry-specific language you need to be able to back it up – you need to actually know what you’re talking about! If you’re simply regurgitating words you read on Wikipedia the interviewer will quickly pick up on it, and will likely call you out on it. There’s nothing more embarrassing, or more damaging to your chances of securing a job, than being made to look foolish in an interview. The last thing you need is to have your credibility questioned at a time when you’re trying to make a great first impression, so stick to what you’re confident talking about.
To take this a step further, you should never lie in an interview. If you don’t have the prerequisite skills and knowledge you wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) have applied in the first place, so be confident in your abilities and comfortable with who you are. Don’t try and bamboozle the interviewer with the depth of your knowledge or the incredible experience you’ve accrued over the years if it’s not true – you’ll soon find yourself digging a hole you can’t clamber out of! When hiring high-level executives, companies will be stringent with their background checks, so you should be mindful of the fact that each and every statement you make could be researched and queried once you leave the interview. Employers appreciate honesty – if you don’t understand a question or need clarification of a term they’ve used, say so. Being honest displays integrity, a core value all employers prize (Having said that, if everything they say confuses you and every question they ask leaves you baffled, you’ve probably applied for the wrong job!).
While it’s easier said than done, the key to a successful interview is to relax. If you’ve done some preparation and put some thought into the questions you’re likely to be asked, it should just be a case of sitting down and chatting with the interviewer. Be yourself, be natural, and try to stay calm!
Have a great day!
The Decipher Group team