Conduct a great interview

Warning: Before you read this please read Rules 1 to 5 in the DP of 10th March 17, Rule 6 in the DP of 13th March 17, rules 7 & 8 in the DP of 15th March 17.

What do you think a job interview is for? To assess how suitable you are for the job to be done? Only partly. The main purpose is to see how you fit the culture of the organisation you want to join. Since every employee’s view of a culture is different the decision about your employment depends more on the perceptions of the interviewer(s) than on your record. In fact, if you concentrate only on displaying your record you almost certainly won’t get the job.

There are organisations that don’t care about your attitude to the company, to work, to your fellow human beings or to anything except making them rich. You don’t want to work for one of those. If you do you will be unhappy and soon out of a job or, failing that, out of your mind. Life is too short to waste on idiots. Good companies and interviewers do want to know about your attitudes. From these they will deduce whether you are going to be a successful employee.

What constitutes a good attitude? Whether you care about what you do, who you do it for and how well you do it. Don’t be misled into believing that your super record will secure the prize. How you demonstrate your ability to care about these three things is what counts. How do you show that? By asking questions. Not a list of pre-prepared “How are you today?” type questions, nor too many questions about yourself in the job (pay, terms, and so on) but sensible questions about the business, its culture, its problems and its future. To show that you care about another person you ask them questions that interest them, not questions that interest you. Similarly with companies.

To achieve this you must do your research before you go for interview. You will look at the website and at what is posted about the company on YouTube and the social media. You will ask your brokers or financial advisors about their views of the company’s future. See the last two years’ press cuttings; glean all the information you can and remember that the best jobs come from those in trouble, not those that are sailing along successfully. Get to the place of interview early so that you have a chance to look around, get a ‘feel’, ask the receptionist about the company.

As soon as you are introduced to your interviewers start asking them questions. Say you have noticed something interesting about the business or its latest press announcement and ask about it. Your objective is to engage them quickly by taking the initiative and then keeping it. It doesn’t matter what level of job you are seeking, this must be your prime approach. I once helped a lady to get a job that didn’t exist in an organisation that wasn’t allowed by law to employ her (for technical reasons) and one that hated women. She worked there happily for over ten years.

Listen to the answers you receive. They are the keys to your getting the job. All your further questions will follow the thread of these answers. Remember – your purpose is to engage. One of the best forms of engagement is smiling. Most people behave as though interviews are deadly serious. They are, but deadly serious needs a smile to make it work. Every smile gets a tick.

What to do after the interview? See the next Daily Paradox for clues about that.

No short series of articles can give you all the information and process you need to get a job. That is why Terrific Mentors International has a Career & Job Service. If you are interested please ask us at mentors@terrificmentors.com

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