Let’s all begin at the point when we arrive and we are waiting. Your heart starts pumping and you start getting a little clammy, but thats all part of the process. I know interviewing at times can be very intimidating, but don’t worry it happens to everyone, even those you consider professional.
Now back up a second, one thing to remember is that you might even be interviewed by someone who is new at the game or does not have much experience. What you can remember is that no matter what, a well prepared interviewee can flip to the interviewer. Any good interviewer should expect their candidate to be well prepared and organized. This is accomplished by researching the company, researching those you are interviewing with (i.e. LinkedIn/Facebook) and knowing the services that the company provides. You should always be able to answer or refute those hard hitting questions as this is key for making the decision if you are a good fit for the company organization.
Kev’s Prep Tips:
- Eye contact, practice with someone, I cannot stress how important this is, let’s them know you are engaged and focused (read this book to help “How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships” by Leil Lowndes).
- It is crucial to understand what the company does, for example, find their mission statement, everyone has one, study it and live it.
- Find out what services the company provides and put yourself in that role to help you understand and communicate what you bring to the table to help them succeed.
So you made it in there, do a couple jumping jacks, head to the door. Cool down, relax, it’s just an interview. Hopefully, you have done your research and you’re ready to go in there and nail it. It’s your time to shine. Couple things to make sure you don’t do: don’t use Umm.. between sentences, if you need to think just pause and continue, eye contact, actively listen, don’t interrupt, and most importantly ask questions about the one(s) interviewing you. It’s very professional to use their names in your sentences while talking to reassure them that you heard them. Restate the questions asked and if you don’t know something don’t lie, just explain that you haven’t had much experience in that but you are more than willing to learn and take that on as a primary task.
I had the opportunity in the latter half of 2013 to participate in a lot of interviews as I was laid off my my career. I did phone screenings, phone interviews, in-person, and even took a couple flights to interview. When it oils down to it, the wow factor is what gets you the offers. I have dressed up and have dressed down because when someone likes you, they look past what you are wearing and focus on what’s important.
So, I had the pleasure to interview with Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, and a few other big tech firms. The way they interview is about pressure, they want you to answer a question but solve a problem, realistic or not, or even off the wall. Once you answer that, based on your answer they dig deeper into it asking why, or what if. It’s a different style and some people can crack but rest assured, you are typically interviewing with someone who would be a peer to you in those circumstances.
Interviewing with small to medium size companies has it’s advantages, they are typically looking for a more broad set of skills and defer to what you have on your resume as to how to interview you. I know some of the most well prepared interviewers can ask some of the easiest questions or ask a question and not even know the answer to it but relying on you to educate them. I will say if you can wow these guys, you typically can get an offer pretty quick.
More to come…