3 Ways to Prepare to Ace Your Job Interview

So, you are thinking of leaving your current job to see if there is something that fits you better. Maybe you want to leave because you have a manager that makes too little time for you, doesn’t encourage your learning and development, or doesn’t provide meaningful feedback, particularly applause when you do great things. Maybe you have grown as far as you can grow in the organization because the path for advancement will move you from your high-performance abilities to those out of your high-performance areas. Or, maybe you’re just ready for a change.

Woman interviewing potential candidate for a job

Regardless of the reason, it’s important to prep for your future interview. The interview process is changing, becoming more action-oriented, which means your prep also needs to change. Consider these three tips to fully prepare yourself so you can ace the interview.

  1. Invest in greater self-awareness to know your strengths, interests and values. The interview is your opportunity to share who you are. This requires great self-knowledge. Reflect on what you do well, your interests and what activates your best performance. You can’t wisely assess whether you have what it takes to succeed in the role if you are unaware of your abilities. Consider taking an assessment, doing self-discovery work or working with a coach to get clear about who you are.
  2. Create a list of what you want the organization to know about you. Though all organizations interview, few are effective or good at it. That means that unless you are prepared, you may leave the interview without having shared the critical and important information they need to know about you to wisely consider you for the role. Your greater self-awareness (step 1 above) has provided you with your success attributes that you must share in the interview. Don’t leave the interview until you share these attributes. You may even have to say something like, “I wanted to share the three things about me (my three greatest abilities) that will show how I can add value and make a difference in this role. Would now be a good time to share these with you?”
  3. Create a list of what you want to know about the organization, role or manager. Understand the organization and its focus, vision and mission. Understand the role, what it does and its importance to the organization, and get an understanding of the management style and culture of the organization. Create a list of anything you need to know to be able to say yes or no to this opportunity.

Take Action
Remember, an interview is an information-gathering-and-sharing event. Have the information you want to share and know the information you need to gather. Know yourself, then be clear about what information you want them to know about you, even if they forget to ask. Know what information you need to discover or confirm about them. The goal is to have enough of the right information to assess whether you fit them and they fit you. Do your homework. Preparation is key.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading What Do You Want in 2019?

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Why Should I Hire You?

Organizations are always looking for the best talent. So, when you have the opportunity to introduce yourself through an organization’s job site or to respond to an available role, how do you present yourself in a way that matters? How do you help the organization answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”

As a coach, I routinely see that most of my clients have not initially developed a clear understanding of who they are. They don’t know their strengths, liabilities, values and interests, or what activates and diminishes their performance. This becomes one of the first things we work on because becoming self-aware creates the information needed to be able to assess which jobs fit and what will be important to share in an interview.

When you are aware of your strengths, you have the practical language to assess which opportunities need what you do and like best (why would you apply to a job that doesn’t need what you are good at and interested in doing?). And when you have chosen a good-fit opportunity, you are able to stand out among other candidates in the interview.

As organizations become wiser and shift away from strictly asking questions to also including activities in their job interviews to assess candidate alignment, knowing your strengths will help you develop confidence to demonstrate what you are best at. You must be able to help the organization clearly see why they should hire you. Remember, most organizations are ineffective at interviewing, so you’ll need to make it easy for them to see how you’re a good fit for their role. You may have to volunteer information about your abilities that the interviewers forget to ask about but are critical for them to know to see how you would add value and make a difference in this role and in their organization.

So, you need to know yourself to be able to find jobs that align to your abilities and interests, and to present yourself in a way that gets you noticed.

My guidance in helping clients who are job searching is to prepare for the interview by doing the following.

  1. Complete your inventory of abilities so you know yourself well. Be able to clearly identify your top 3 or 4 strengths, your interests, values and what amplifies your performance.
  2. Bring these two things with you to your interview:
    • A summary of what you want the organization to know about you. It’s important to have a summary prepared so you can easily share it if they don’t ask. Make it easy for them to assess if you fit them.
    • A summary of what you want to find out about the organization, so you can assess if they fit you.
  3. Have your thoughts ready to share about how you add value and make a difference in your current work and how you would do the same in the role you are applying for.

By doing some work ahead of your interview, you can gain self-awareness to wisely choose roles that fit you and be better prepared with information to know how to present yourself in an interview in a way that helps you stand out, regardless of whether the organization is good at interviewing or not.

And remember, the interview is for you to determine if they’re a fit for you just as much as if you’re a fit for them. Share meaningful information about you. Gather meaningful information about them. Have what you need to wisely assess if you belong in the organization.

Take Action
Know yourself well to know what of your abilities will be important to this role. Create and deliver your personal branding statement. Make it easy for the organization to see you in their role. Be ready to help them see why they should hire you.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Building a Personal Branding Statement

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Your Big Three and Succeeding in an Interview

By Jay Forte

If you’ve taken the 3AboutMe Talent Assessment, you have successfully identified your Big Three – your three greatest strengths. Congrats! This insight into three of your natural strengths can prepare you to excel in any kind of interview.

And this insight, combined with the creation of your personal branding statement to narrow down your key strengths and passions, can set you apart in your interview.

Here are three tips to help you learn how to efficiently share what’s unique about you in any type of interview situation.

1. Select the 3 or 4 words that will be most meaningful in an interview, and be sure you share them in your interview.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here; these words can be the ones you used in your personal branding statement. Having those words readily available to you in an interview will help the conversation stay focused on why the opportunity is the right fit for you.

For example, let’s say you are interviewing for an internship or a job that will have you working on a team. You could listen for places in your interview to share that you are supportive, team-focused, reliable, loyal and hardworking – so, something like, “Let me share with you two places in my recent past where my reliability, team-focus and loyalty has made a difference.” Or, “I find my success is because I am supportive of my teammates and my personal standard for hard work – let me share what this looks like…”

2. Connect your words to activities that show your words in action.

Let’s say your words are analytical, practical and results-focused. To illustrate an example of your performance in an interview, you could state, “my analytical focus helped me create a shortcut to a process that saved the organization $X.” Or, “my focus on results helped me save 5% from the cost of delivery in just one month.”

3. Show how your talents and strengths will add value and make a difference in the role and organization.

The real purpose of an interview is to gather information, so by sharing how your core abilities will help lead to your success in the role and in the organization, you make it easy for the interviewer. For example, you could share that your supportive and cooperative nature helps you work with diverse teams. Or you could share that your detail-oriented, methodical and analytical strengths can help you to be efficient as well as effective in the role. Helping those who are hiring to quickly and easily understand what is best in you and how you will add value and make a difference will ultimately lead to your interview success.

Familiarizing yourself with your strengths helps you know and share what is strongest and best in you. Use them first to choose the work, school and life environments that need what you do best, then be sure to share your words in any interview or networking opportunity to show how you fit in a specific role or opportunity.

And remember: a select few people do this. It therefore gives you an edge.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. Think back to a recent interview and reflect on how it went. Were you happy with the discussion? Were there things you wish you said?
  2. Regardless of the outcome of that interview, how can you ensure future opportunities – whether other interviews, employee reviews or networking opportunities – produce the outcome(s) you want?
  3. With the insights obtained from the 3AboutMe Talent Assessment, how will you continue to invest in yourself?

 

Be sure to share the 3AboutMe Talent Assessment with others.

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