Much of your success at interview boils down to your ability to convince an interviewer how interested you are in the role and the business. You can demonstrate interest through your actions and your words, asking the right questions or providing the right information – so that it appeals to the interviewers – can make or break your chances of success. You can contact me to talk more about your interview strategy
There were a few things that I would always try to do to convince an interviewer that I was interested in the role and the organisation. But beware, a skilled interviewer can usually detect if you’re trying to pull the wall over their eyes. Before you go to an interview, you actually need to understand as much about the business as you possibly can, so that you can determine whether you are actually interested. That way, your natural enthusiasm and affinity to the business will come across and your words and actions will be genuine and appealing to the interviewers. Here’s a few of the things that I would normally do.
Ask the right questions..
I would always ask questions that relate to the present and the future. In doing so, I would be able to gain further insight on how well the business is doing and its ambitions for the future. I would also get an understanding of the situation they’re in at the present to enable me to determine whether or not that was a situation I wanted to be in myself. From an interviewer’s perspective, questions about the present and the future lead them to believe that you have a genuine interest in what they’re currently doing and their plans for the future. You’ll then be able to probe further based on responses that you get to the questions and that will further demonstrate your interest in the business.
Create a dialogue..
Make sure that you have a dialogue with the interviewer and avoid the interview becoming a monologue. This can work both ways because if you over talk during the interview, then you’ll limit the amount of time that you have to listen to what the interviewer has to say. Conversely, if you allow the interviewer to dominate the conversation they will assume that you have no questions to ask or are not interested in finding out more information about the business and role. You’ll need to find a way of striking a balance between listening and talking, so that you get the optimum amount of information and provide the optimum amount of information. There is a certain knack and skill to this, but having a conversation that goes to and fro between yourself and the interviewer helps you to build rapport and engagement and will lead the interviewer to believe that there is potential for you to have a good relationship with them and they’ll become more interested in finding out more about you.
As I mentioned in the introduction to this blog post, if you already feel that you have an interest in the business based on the research that you’ve done earlier on, then the likelihood is that you will be interviewed by people who have similar ideals and values to you and the conversation will therefore have a genuine, relaxed, yet professional feel. If neither party feels connected to the conversation, then it will be very difficult for both, yourself and the interviewer to show interest.
Ask questions that prove you’ve done your research ….
Another way to show interest is by asking the interviewer questions that demonstrate you’ve done your research. Here is what I used to do. I would preface a question with a valuable piece of research that I’ve discovered. For example,
“I’d read in X magazine that you had hired X number of employees to join the team. Does this point to a period of growth for the team and business and what will the team look like in the next couple of years?”
Or here’s another example.
“I had read in X magazine that the business had won an award for exceptional performance beating competitor one, two and three. What is the business and team doing or what will they do in the future in order to maintain the business position as being the best in this category?”
Visualise yourself in the role
I would always leave the interviewer with the impression that I am visualising myself in the role. I would ask questions about my career prospects over the next few years or for example,
“what are the possibilities for me in this role over the next 5 years?”
Notice I used the word me, as opposed to using ‘someone’ or ‘an employee’. Another way in which I was able to help the interviewer visualise me in the role was by understanding beforehand what their challenges are and making suggestions based on my skills and experience on how I could help them overcome these challenges.
Close the interview !
I would always, always, always close the interview. I know that many people miss this particular point out, but it’s imperative that you do not. You can begin to close by asking the interviewer if they have any reservations on your ability to do a job and if they do, you can address them there and then. You can then summarise all the points that you had collected based on the interviewer’s concerns and challenges within the business and role and reassure them that you could help them to overcome those challenges. You can also ask them what the next steps are and tell them that you want the job.
As I mentioned earlier, these are just a few of the things that I would do during an interview, but bear in mind it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it and how you act during the interview that will make the difference. Preparation is the key.
I want you to write a closing interview question and practice it in the mirror until you are fluent and can deliver the sentence confidently. You can contact me talk more about your interview strategy