Saturday, September 10, 2011

Preparing for the job interview - Understanding, Marrying and Convincing

How to prepare:
Understand, Marry and Convince;
The interviewee prepares for the interview by understanding the skill set and experience the position requires. Next the interviewee must marry his/her experience and skill set to the position requirements. And lastly the interviewee must convince the hiring manager that they are the right fit for the position and the company.

Let’s dissect a job posting to see how to understand, marry and convince:

The job description tells the interviewee what experience and skill set is needed for the position. Refer to job description at end of this post. The first paragraph gives the interviewee an idea about the company’s work environment. 

creativity and breakthrough ideas
we drive our growth and design excellence by staffing our teams with individuals who are innovative and always looking for the next great idea
If you share our vision and view yourself as an independent, creative thinker

A little further down in the job description are these words:

What are you waiting for...jump into the driver's seat and apply- (I interpret this to mean having the ability to make decisions and not “sit on the fence”)

Based on this information, the interviewee should deliver in the interview; creativity, break through ideas, innovation, forward thinking (I interpret that from “looking for the next great idea”), independent creative thinking and convey that they are a high performer who can make decisions in the interview.
Not an easy task right?

The next paragraph and the qualifications describe the position and the skill, knowledge, experience and education the interviewee needs to be successful in the position. The interviewee needs to marry his/her experience, skill set knowledge and education with the position in the interview.

The convincing is done when the interviewers hear the interviewee speak about these key components in the interview. The interviewee can use past experience as a means to convey these components. The interviewee should show confidence, enthusiasm and passion in these areas.

Take a look at past experience and reframe how you speak about it to fit the key components in the job description. Ask someone to listen to how you speak about yourself to help fine tune it.

During the interview, listen to what the interviewer is saying about the position for an opportunity to tell the interviewer about your experience. One candidate, who got the job, told me how she reduced audit comments after I mentioned that audit results are a measure for team performance. She understood the importance of this part of the position and made it a point to highlight her experience in this area.

The Interview is a fluid interchange between interviewer and interviewee.  Understanding, marrying and convincing gives the interviewee the basis for preparation, practice and successful delivery.

Creating a resume that marries your experience and skill set to the key components of the position will get you in the interview.

Convincing the interviewer in the interview that you possess and can deliver the key components gets you the job.

Interview preparation note:
Use visualization to prepare for the interview.  Close your eyes and see yourself successfully acting and performing in the interview. Create a vivid picture in your imagination complete with all the details of how you will marry your knowledge and skills and convince the interviewee you are the right person for the position. Then, assume that being hired for this position is really possible. Picture yourself getting called with an offer for the position. Picture yourself signing the offer with the salary you want. Picture yourself celebrating.