In Interviews

We have heard over and over the advice that a candidate must be better prepared for interviews.  There is no doubt that this is important.  However, candidates are not the only one who should be prepared for an interview.   I have heard many stories from candidates that the person they interviewed with was not prepared for their interview.   As the employment market tightens, companies trying to hire top talent must realize that the interview is an opportunity to promote the position and the company to the candidate.  Top candidates have options and you will not attract them to your organization if you don’t put effort into your side of the interview.

Candidate preparedness tips

Review your potential employer’s website

    ·Candidates should ask questions in an interview but to spend your limited time on asking questions that could be answered by a quick visit to the website, is a very poor use of your time.

Review the position description before you go to the interview

    · A candidate should review the position description the day before the interview.  If you are on an active job search it is very easy to mix up details of the many position descriptions you have reviewed.

Prepare the night before the interview in writing

    · Write out your accomplishments the night before. This will put them in your short-term memory for the next day.   Companies are looking for people who have been successful and added value.  One of the best ways to demonstrate this is through specific examples of situations you have been in that are applicable to the job.  The actions you took in the past that added value and the result that were gained.

Interviewer preparedness tips

Read the candidates resume before the interview

    · Make sure you have truly read the resume before the interview.     To ask someone a question that was already on their resume can be insulting to candidates.   A thorough review of the resume may help lead you to better questions.

The interview team must be on the same page

    · Even if a company employs interview teams, there should be one person who makes sure everyone is on board with what are the key elements of the position and what is being screened for in candidates.  Interview teams may be assigned different items to cover with the candidate but must be certain they are not sending conflicting messages.

Do some homework beyond the resume

    · Top candidates will go well beyond looking at your website when preparing for an interview.  There is nothing wrong with checking online what you find out about a person.  Bringing up positive things that you found out about them such as a civic award that was not on their resume will show interest.   A word of caution on bringing up negative things you may have found.  Make sure you have your facts straight.  Many people have the same or similar names.

The goal of an interview is to find out if you are a right fit for each other.   The best way to accomplish this for both candidate and the hiring manager is to put the time and effort into being as prepared as possible.

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