Interviewing 101: Know Who You Are
The process of interviewing can sometimes feel like an exercise in creativity. Each new position holds the possibility of not only a source of income but the potential to reinvent one’s skills in a new work environment. Considering this level of possibility, who wouldn’t want to reinvent themselves into the ideal candidate?
No Right-Sized Approach
It’s easy to dream of perfection, but whose idea of perfection? Realistically, few employers can articulate a “perfect candidate” blueprint when it’s time to hire. While many hiring and recruitment specialists conduct an interview looking for specific skill sets or credentials, the interview is more than checking off qualifications. Instead of crafting an ideal, candidates should present themselves and their skills in the best possible way. Proceed with caution when offering anything that’s not truly who you are. Any representation failing to convey unique qualities and the purpose motivating your decisions will trigger a mismatch.
An article from Inc.com highlighted some of the things that appear as “perfect” candidate material but send up a red flag to interviewers. One is a collection of certifications and degrees without the related work experience demonstrating use of the skills. Obtaining knowledge does not automatically ensure the ability to usefully execute the skills in a work environment. Rather than relying on a resume to speak for the skills, be ready to share actual experiences, illustrating how training and certification benefit actual work experience.
Other times, an interviewer may have a gut feeling that a candidate appears too rehearsed or fails to demonstrate enthusiasm or curiosity for the work. An interviewer seeks candidates who want to know more about the company and job position than what’s listed on the website or job listing. The best interview questions make connections between a candidate’s past experiences and the possibility of new innovations to come. Failing to demonstrate a level of interest and exploration signals a candidate might not have the curiosity to look for challenges in the role.
Seeking the Zone
Curiosity may be one of the most lucrative currencies for finding and maintaining a balanced work life. Such exploration challenges an individual to quantify why they chose to do a certain kind of work and how that work provides the necessary challenges and fulfillment to keep them wanting to do more. Understanding these individual motivations provides important clues for both the candidate and the interviewer.