Interviewing: Winning the Competition

If you want to get the job, you must first ace the interview, which is in essence a competition that at most one person will win (sometimes no one wins).

How can you differentiate yourself and maximize your chances for success in an interview? These three suggestions are proven to make an impact.

Do more than anyone else. Do more than they ask for and more than they expect.

  • Know the names, faces, and backgrounds of your interviewers; get this information from your network or from LinkedIn.
  • Prepare several questions for your interviewers; have them on a prepared sheet and take notes on their answers after you ask the questions.
  • Create a “leave behind” highlighting your qualifications for each person that you interview with; include a resume, list of references, cover letter, business card, letters of recommendation and any other supporting documents that highlight your qualifications.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

  • Go over popular interview questions and determine the best answer from your experience. Don’t just give an adequate answer to questions like “tell me about a time that you faced a great deal of pressure”, give the best answer.
  • Talk to people who work at the company, knowing about the job and the challenges that they are facing in their department will give you a strong idea of what questions that they will ask.
  • Know your resume inside and out; several questions are likely to come straight off of your resume and you need to be able to explain and defend every word of it.

Assume that they will ask you about the gaps in your background.

  • It is the interviewer’s job to raise objections about your background; it is your job to overcome those objections.
  • Make a list of all the ways that you don’t align with the job and be able to explain how you will overcome each of them.

Written by guest blogger Todd Nicholas, Senior Career Counselor/Lead Trainer.