Interviewing is an art. Both for candidates and managers. For candidates, it is hard to stay calm and cool under pressure. We know how challenging it is and hopefully you encounter a good leader that will put you at ease. As a manager, who you choose to hire can make or break your role. There are four critical things I look for and if they are not there, chances are you will not get a second interview even if you have rocked every other answer. 4 quick tips below:
1. This is probably the most important one for me. Know the answer to “tell me a time when you took initiative". Created something that was not there. Went beyond your job description. The answer to this question has so much weight to who I hire. I want to hire someone that will help create structure. Create initiatives in their role. Change things up. Be creative. Show you go above and beyond and have examples to prove it. The best candidate I ever hired brought forth examples of consumer promotions she created from scratch to help kick start her territory during a tough time. Every territory can have a slump – it is how you deal with the slump that can make you shine.
2. Come prepared with questions. This is basic interview 101 but I am still amazed how many candidates come to an interview without giving thought to what they will ask the interviewer. If you ask questions, it shows you are concerned with finding the right fit and a long term gig. This is exactly what the company is looking for so now you're on common ground. It also shows that you're interested in and care about the job you are interviewing for.
3. Ask for the job! Show your passion. When I got my first job as a leader, I did not have any management experience. I mentioned that in the end of the interview but I also showed my passion. I let them know how much I would love this job. Before the interview, I read two books on leadership and management and discussed what I would do in my first 6 months on the job. I had a plan, was organized and turned my shortcoming into a positive.
4. Know the company you are interviewing for. Know their history, how many employees they have, what charities they support, who their competitors are, what their stock performance is like, who their CEO is, etc. This is a small thing but can really separate the strong candidates. I am always most impressed by candidates who have done their research and know about the charities we support and know our strengths and advantages.
I hope this blog post helps narrow down what’s important and how to show your passion for your job and career. In the end, it is all about having the confidence to show you are the right person for the job and having the passion to ask for it.