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  • The Interview Process Needs to Be Understood

    Job Interview photo from ShutterstockMany interviewers don’t know how to interview, and the majority of candidates are not sufficiently prepared for the test. Because that situation is a given, a candidate can improve the chances for hire by better understanding the interview process itself and the emotional aspects of the interview.

    Conversely from what our instinct might tell us, the interview focus is not on the candidate but on the interviewer’s needs and on satisfying them. And by the way, this is done on a competitive basis, because the candidate who appears to be the best fit into the interviewer’s company’s culture and who shows passion and excitement will be offered the job.

    This may sound obvious, but beyond the exchange of information and the validation of career facts are a lot of emotions that intrude themselves into the interview process. For example, a candidate’s natural tendency is to walk into the interview and start selling because the clock is ticking. My suggestion, however, is to hold off the selling and instead, start easy talk. Establish a relationship with the other party, and work on strengthening that relationship until the interviewer stops it when it’s time to move on with the interview.

    At that point, the interviewer will ask a guided, open-ended question such as, “Tell me about yourself” or “Why are you interested in this job?” because he wants to obtain a point of reference for how the candidate is positioning himself. A candidate who understands the interview process will give a very brief answer to the question and then turn the conversation so that the interviewer starts talking about his problems. After all, this is what the interview is really all about.

    The candidate should indeed bring up and interject facts from past professional experience to prove a history of dealing with similar issues and being able to resolve them to the satisfaction of customers, bosses, and others. Make sure you provide such facts, because otherwise, whatever you say is no more than anecdotal hearsay or your opinion. This phase is most likely the crux of the interview, since now, the interviewer is analyzing your candidacy for fit, skills, and character. This is when you have to project lots of confidence. This is what you’re selling, and this is what the interviewer wants to buy.

    If you can follow the foregoing guidelines, you’ll improve your chances to win the competition. The last step before you formally accept an offer involves learning the tactics of negotiating a compensation package.

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