Don’t make these 3 Interview Mistakes!
An interview is a structured conversation where one participant asks questions, and the other provides answers. So, an interview is an exchange of information to ascertain if there is a meeting of minds.
In other words, you are there to talk about you and they are there to talk about what they want. Whatever you do please do not make these 3 interview mistakes!
No 1 mistake – preparation for an interview.
Most people spend too much time researching the company in preparation for an interview and not themselves. Somewhere, someone told a terrible lie and said that if you ask well informed questions about the company and ‘did your homework’ that this would impress on an interview.
Only yes- if the role you are interviewing for is as a CSI investigative reporter maybe?
No decision maker cares much about your ability to know about them.
All they want to know is more about you, and why they should hire you. So, your preparation should not centre entirely on researching the company. But rather spend more time on preparing to speak about yourself.
Think carefully and write down the following;
- 10 points why you’re a good fit for the specific role: Create a personal value proposition that’s relevant for them and what they want.
- 10 points of what makes you unique: Connect with your own uniqueness because we all need to know how to be our own No 1 supporter.
- Review your experience to date and focus only on that which is relevant for the role: Highlight the key experience you have gained not all the experience you have gained.
No 2 mistake – situational examples;
‘Give us an example’ will always follow a strength-based statement that you make. Any solid interview will look for evidence of your greatness. This question comes up very often. Even if you are not directly asked to share examples, your answers here will be top of mind to offer in discussion.
The real crux of good interview preparation is going over the best examples you want to leave with your potential new employer. Rather than drawing on the first ones that come to mind when put on the spot.
Prepare by writing out
- 3- 5 situational examples for each 10 points on why you are a good fit for the role.
This way you are sending your brain to that place where it must dig out the best possible situational examples. The ones that truly highlight your essence and your strengths. There can never be to many situational examples that you need prior to an interview.
By preparing 3- 5 each and by writing them out, you are committing this to memory, ensuring that you will not be caught off guard.
No 3 mistake – asking unimportant questions.
Asking a whole bunch of intelligent questions does not generally leave a lasting impression with your interviewer. Your confidence and posturing, however do.
Often, we given the opportunity to engage we deflect to what is least important. How big is the team? What systems do you use? Who is your retirement provider? What is company policy on leave? Not relevant at the first round of an interview because these will not tell you enough about the role.
The only key questions ever worth asking at the first round of an interview process are;
- Who are you ideally looking for?
- What challenges face this role?
- What does success look like in this role?
Short, strategic and to the point. Resist asking anything else, because nothing else really matters until you have the answers to these 3 questions.
When you know what they are looking for and the issues that face the role, you will be in a strong position to know if this is the role for you- or not. Clearly understanding what success looks like in the role helps you know if this is the role for you.
You therefore leave the interview knowing what they are selling in a career and whether you are willing to buy.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog take a look at Knowing your skills vs Talents for more mindset and action steps to move your career forward.
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