This is it! You’ve been called in for an interview with the hiring manager and you want to do your very best. Like many other aspects in life, the key to success is preparation. And one of the best ways to prepare is to thoroughly understand the hiring manager’s true needs.
The hiring manager has several goals on his/her interview agenda:
- Do you have the skills and experience to do the job?
- Can you speak to the examples on your resume and explain them in detail?
- Are you willing to do what it takes to be successful?
- Will you represent the organization professionally?
- Are you well suited to the position and will you fit in with the rest of the department?
- Are you personable and pleasant to be around?
- Do you project an aura of excitement and enthusiasm for the position and the company?
- Will you last at the job—are your career goals in line with the job and the organization?
How best to prepare to present yourself as the #1 candidate:
Study the job description in detail
The position description is your primary means to developing focused responses and establishing the fact that you are the best person for the job. Create memorable examples that clearly and concisely suggest ways the organization would benefit from hiring you. Ask yourself:
- Which problems can I solve by virtue of my skills and experience?
- In which areas will my skills prove especially beneficial?
- How can I make a difference where other candidates cannot?
- What is the added value I will bring to this position?
- Why am I the #1 person for the job?
Underline each of the skills they are requesting in the posting/job description and create substantiating examples of how you’ve successfully used these skills in your previous positions. Most of all, be certain to stress the positive results you have produced—quantifying your achievements whenever possible.
Research the company online and through your network
Pay special attention to recent press reports, management changes, and industry developments—locally, nationally, and internationally. (Today’s economy is a global one and you’ll want to appear as current and well rounded as possible.) Think: knowledgeable insider.
Create your response to the question, “Why do you want to work here?” Consider that they’re looking for someone who specifically wants to work for them—not a jobseeker who will take anything they can get. Come up with reasons that highlight you have an in-depth understanding of the organization. Be sure to note the positive aspects you can both contribute as well as gain by working for them. Think: win/win.
Check back tomorrow to find part II of how best to anticipate and prepare to address your interviewer’s real needs…
And for even more key strategies to successfully navigate today’s difficult job market, be sure to check out Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50. This step-by-step guide shows you how you can turn your age into an advantage and brand yourself for success.