Making Every Interview A Success (Part 1)

Today is the day.  It’s your big interview with XYZ company and you’re hoping to slam dunk it.  You’ve studied your interview questions and you’ve practiced your elevator pitch so many times that it rolls off your tongue like it’s your last name.  You have the whole interview worked out in your mind and you have been visualizing working there just like  “The Secret” told you to.  You don’t see how you can  lose.

Fast forward one month.  You’re certain that you aced that interview and yet your phone hasn’t rung.  You’ve been reviewing the interview in your head over and over again and you can’t see where you went wrong.  You felt a connection with the interviewers.  You thought they liked you but here you are still waiting to hear back.

Well, the first thing to realize is that in most cases you will be one of numerous candidates for any given position.  When you sit down for your interview, this is likely your first time in front of a company representative.  In stark contrast, you could potentially be the fiftieth person that they’ve seen for this position.  Some of whom could be in the final rounds by the time you’re doing your first interview.

The second important thing to remember is that the person or people on the other side of the table have hands on knowledge about the company and its culture.  Essentially, they have an idea of who will “fit” with the rest of the team. You can read all about a company, but the only way that you are going to get a real sense of who will fit in with the company is to engage with whoever is interviewing you. 

For the moment, they are your best resource to learn more about the company you are hoping to work for.  If you give rote answers to practiced questions then you are forgetting that you are talking to a person.  You’re seeing them as a sounding board and they will very likely respond in kind giving you “canned” polite responses.

So what should you do to make every interview a success?  Well the first thing is to get out of your head and be present at the interview.  Practicing is essential, but on game day you have to play the game you’re in.  If you can remember this you will get more out of the interview and the interviewers will learn more about the real you.  The second thing you need to do is tune in to part 2.

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