How many times have you told yourself “I screwed up that interview”.
Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to the best of us.
What I’ve found is that the ones who enter that interview room with the right mindset are the ones crushing it. Even if they don’t meet all the qualifications. Even if they don’t have the all the right experience.
If the candidate is confident they can do the job, and is genuinely able to articulate their skills, strengths and weaknesses, they are the ones most likely to win the job offer.
So where does this confidence and genuineness come from? How can you bring it with you to the interview room?
It really comes down to just one thing – Think of it as a business meeting.
If you’re an experience professional, I’m sure you’ve had a tonne of business meetings in your time. This job interview is just another business meeting.
But it’s not a status update meeting.
It’s one of those meetings where your goal is to gather requirements and convince the other person to approve your proposal. The proposal in this case being, your services.
Think about a time when you had such an important meeting, and it went well. Remember your process. Remember how you felt about getting that approval. Remember the look on the manager’s face when they agreed to your proposal.
Visualize the interview is going to go the same way.
Don’t think the interviewer is out to “Get you”.
Believe me, for every candidate that walks into that room, they are saying to themselves “Please, let this next person be the one so I can get back to work!”
The hiring manager is hoping you are the solution to the problem this role will solve.
So walk into that room thinking to yourself “I’m going to present how my skills and experience is going to make this manager’s life a heck of a lot easier!”
#2 Preparation is key
Now that you know your goal is to present a solution to the problem, the question is, what’s the problem?
This is where you need to utilize both the job description and your past experience. If you had an insider in the company, their knowledge will be valuable as well. There are always hidden problems that won’t be advertised in the job description.
The first few lines in the responsibility section of the job description usually indicate what’s most important to the hiring manager. Map it to your personal experience.
Ask yourself “How did I make my manager’s life easier in the past? How did I make them look good to their management?”
When you know you’ve prepared well for this interview, it gives you that confidence boost you need to ace it.
#3 Have a conversation
Remember, this is a business meeting.
As such, it’s a two-way conversation. This is the culture of job interviews in North America, where speaking up is important. It’s not a shut-up-and-just-answer-my-questions culture.
This is also a requirements gathering business meeting. At some point in the interview, you need to ask smart, relevant and intelligent questions.
Do this during the course of the interview, and certainly towards the end, when you will be invited by the interviewer with “Do you have any questions for me?”
Asking questions demonstrates you’re confident enough to speak up during a meeting – an important trait any (good) manager would want from their employee. Asking the right questions about the job itself and company culture shows you’re genuinely interested in this job.
Asking questions allows you discover unknown but important problems not yet discussed in the interview. It also allows you to gently navigate the interview towards speaking to your strongest skills and experience. This is especially crucial when you’re dealing with an unskilled job interviewer. That’s right – some managers don’t conduct interviews well.
As challenging as a job search can be, especially when you’ve been unemployed for so long, the right mindset will present you as the professional the hiring manager is looking for.
Remember, they don’t care about your personal circumstances. The slightest hint of desperation will negatively impact your candidacy.
Do the work to prepare, visualize this as another important business meeting you will win, and calm your mind before walking into that room.
The manager has a problem. You are the solution. Go prove it to them.