The one thing you must do when you interview is be authentic. If you are looking for a good fit and hope to work there for awhile, you need to make a brutally honest assessment about the company and how you will fit in. Being authentic in the interview allows them to also determine if you are a good fit for them.
Articulate your strengths.
To prepare for the interview, the first thing you should focus on is being able to describe what strengths you bring to the company and how those strengths make you unique. Really sit down and analyze past experience and what you did and how you did it. Describe your strengths in either a bullet format or paragraphs. Then take this to three friends and three co-workers (past or current) and ask them to comment on them. You’ll probably be surprised as to what they can add to this value-added statement you have developed.
This value-added statement describing your strengths is what makes you real and unique. Stay true to this at all times in your interview and have examples of things you did or accomplished that support each strength.
Be clear about what is important to you.
Know your values. What you are looking for in work and how that fits you as a person. If working as a part of a team is important…say it. If you like to work on projects independently but like to get regular feedback from your supervisor, ask for it. If you want to be doing work that positively affects the lives of others, be clear.
Understand your work values and what are “must haves” in the job and share that in the interview where it makes sense. It could be at the end when you ask questions of them, i.e. Can you tell me about my supervisor’s style of giving regular feedback, or it may come out in your answers. Regardless, be true to yourself.
Show your passion.
Employers want to know what makes you tick. When you have a passion for an area that can help your employer solve problems…they are going to like that. Curiosity is an integral component of passion. If you are curious about something, it shows your interests. Approach your interviews from a curiosity angle. What does this company do that matches my passions? How can my interests fit into this job?
Be able to state, the things I love to do are _________. I get lost in my work when I ________.
When you can demonstrate your curiosity and passion about your work, you will be showing your authentic self.
Being authentic in the interview takes lots of self-reflection and if you can focus on these three areas, strengths, values, and passions, you will find the job and company that fits you best. Remember the interview is a mutual selection process. Just as the employer is looking for the right person, you want to ensure the fit is right for you too. And when that happens, both sides of the interview are happier.
Read more articles on interviewing here. http://peak-careers.com/tag/interviewing/
Jim Peacock is the Principal at Peak-Careers Consulting and writes a monthly newsletter for career practitioners. Peak-Careers offers discussion-based online seminars for career practitioners focused on meeting continuing education needs for CCSP, GCDF and BCC certified professionals as well as workshops for career practitioners and individual career coaching.
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