Two Basics of Interviewing

May 8, 2015 | Interview Tips

A highly effective strategy to prepare for a job interview is to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. If you can anticipate what they want to hear, then you will have made a major stride toward landing the job.

Nail Your Elevator Pitch

You must be able to find the right words in an impromptu situation, as if you were to meet a hiring manager on the elevator or in the corridor. Selling yourself on command can be tough, especially if you have to do it in a very short time period. Develop an elevator pitch – a sound bite that concisely and effectively details your professional story – and have it ready.

  • Focus on why you’re the right person for the job. Write down anything that applies. Emphasize the unique value that you bring to the table. Delete anything that could apply to most candidates, i.e., responses such as “I want to work in this industry.” Paint a personal, compelling picture.
  • Showcase your one-of a-kind attributes. Explain how you could help improve the company’s bottom line or fill a business-critical skills gap. Tailor your response to specific questions and situations.
  • Be honest. Don’t try to make yourself bigger, better or smarter than you actually are. People have a natural tendency to spot a phony. Only tell stories that convey the truth about you.
  • Keep it short and focused. Include only the most relevant and interesting information. Think of the average length of time you spend on an elevator: usually no more than a minute!
  • Practice! Once you figure out what you want to say, rehearse your elevator pitch with a trusted friend or in front of a mirror. Say it out loud, then make notes on how to improve it. Use natural gestures, tone of voice and body language. People glean a major percentage of their impression of you from nonverbal clues. Don’t memorize your elevator speech. It should not be forced.

Make Yourself Stand Out

When you go into an interview, follow these tips to optimize your chances of success:

  • Showcase your loyalty. Focus on your commitment and responsibility to your manager and the company. For example, illustrate that you will support every decision made and be an organizational ambassador in all you do.
  • Clearly articulate your qualifications. Demonstrate that you can do the job based on the core competencies required for success. You typically can address this topic when asked to “tell me about yourself.”
  • Tell how you plan to make an impact. Emphasize what you will do for the employer versus what they can do for you. Be confident. Using specific examples, describe how you’ve succeeded in past projects and positions. You’ll probably be competing with other candidates who are just as qualified, so show how you stand out. Quantify your achievements in measurable terms.

Consider partnering with a Talent Bridge recruiter as you make your next career move. Our seasoned team of experts will help you land the position that best meets your personal and professional goals for the future. Contact us today for more information.