Beyond the Basics of Interview Preparation
Every interview necessitates a fair amount of preparation. This includes researching the position and the company you’re applying to and doing background research on the staffing recruiter or hiring manager. Look for potential commonalities with the person you’ll be interviewing with. For example, did you attend the same college, earn a degree in the same discipline or do you have similar volunteer interests? You can learn some of these things by looking at the staffing section of a company website or by searching for a recruiter’s profile on LinkedIn.
Prepare to Talk about You
Beyond using an interview as an opportunity to check the box on your skills, a recruiter also wants to know who you are as a person beyond the resume. For instance, where do you thrive on the job? Do you like to work alone or as part of a larger team? Are you an outgoing extrovert or a quiet, thoughtful introvert? Interviews are a time to allow a little bit of the real you to show. By doing this you allow the recruiter a chance to determine how you might fit into a departmental group and into the company culture overall.
That said, understand each company and every job recruiter will have their own preference or way of conducting interviews and evaluating talent. Go in expecting the interview process will be different each time. This difference is a good thing because each interview offers the chance to talk to new people and thrive in new environments.
Expect the Unexpected
Knowing that each company and every recruiter uses their own process, go in with a flexible mindset. Your prior research and ready answers are what can give you an advantage over the competition.
Prepare the Basics:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your strengths?
- Why did you leave your last employer?
Then, there’s still room to let the recruiter see your personality with some outside-the-box questions.
Know Your Not-So-Standard Answers:
- What did you like about your last employer?
- What did you not like?
- Tell me what you know about our company/industry?
- Are there questions you have about the job or company?
- After meeting, do you still feel you’re qualified for the position?
Solid prep for the not-so-standard questions indicates you’ve given thought to how your personality and skills fit the job role and into the larger company or industry. Merely having the skills to complete tasks listed on the job description is never enough.
Recruiters use interviews as a time to learn more about who is profiled on an application or resume, and they expect the interview to be a conversation. How you answer informs a recruiter how you might function in the role and the organization, both of which are instrumental to success in the job. Go in with a flexible mindset and be confident in demonstrating to the interviewer just how qualified you are for the position.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City. A full-service employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services in the Overland Park, Johnson County, and Kansas City Metro areas.