You’ve searched high and low for it. You’ve done your homework and read up all about the company. You’ve polished your resume complete with your educational background, achievements and relevant work experience to perfection. You’ve put together a killer cover letter that got you this far.
Now comes that moment of truth, that interview with the hiring manager. Whether you’re applying for an entry-level post as your first job or you’re working on securing that C-level role, the interview, that conversation with the hiring manager is usually the final milestone you need to lay down in order for you to secure the job.
When you think about it deeply, it doesn’t seem fair that these next 30 minutes to an hour is all it will take to decide your fate for the future. How is it even possible to cram all your ideas, thoughts, experience and expertise that you’ve accomplished in your 20, 30, 40 or more years that you’ve lived? As much as it doesn’t seem fair, it is reality. The interviewer has to evaluate everything that has gotten you this far, ask you the questions that is in his or her mind and decide whether you are the right fit for the job or not.
Thus, it is important to ensure the odds are stacked in your favor and you create an impression that you are the right man for the job. These seemingly simple yet impactful steps can help you tip over the balance from uncertainty into job security:
Research on How You Bring Value
It’s not just enough to do some research on the company that you’re planning to join. It’s also essential that you read what the role you are looking at does and how that role will impact the company’s success. Read the job description over and over again and for the key responsibilities find relevant experience whether at another job or if you’re relatively inexperienced try to think of a situation in a club, fraternity/sorority, organization or part-time work that best satisfies that need they have. It’s also important to do some research on the company’s competition, putting in some of your input on how your role can help overcome the competition brings on some plus points into the interview.
A corporation will only think about hiring you and will only consider remunerating you with top dollar only if you can clearly establish what they will gain as value if they hire you. Once you’ve anticipated their needs and show you can fulfill these, you’ll be even closer to that dream job.
Placing Yourself with Your Future Boss
Don’t just stop at finding your place with the company. You also need to look up the hiring manager who will be interviewing you. Look up his or her experience either through LinkedIn or by asking around. If you have a friend in the company or know of someone who has worked with him or her it would be a great time to ask around. Doing research is different from stalking, I just wanted to get that out there in case that crossed your mind.
Once you know about your interviewer’s background, experience and ideas for leadership now is the time to evaluate where you fit in on his or her vision. It doesn’t mean that you need to change yourself to tailor-fit that person’s leadership style. Try pointing out in a subtle way how your style of work may complement that person’s leadership style and also hint at how you can help overcome some of the weaknesses you have heard about that person without telling your future boss directly. The idea is to create the impression with the hiring manager that you fit into his or her organization and can complement his or her leadership style.
Free Yourself of Stress
Going into a job interview is stressful in itself and your mind needs to be as focused as possible before this big event. Get an early night’s sleep so that you feel relaxed when you wake up. Get a substantial meal in place so your brain cells are running on glucose, which makes you sharper during the interview. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview venue so you don’t find yourself rushing and risking being tardy. Make sure you dress appropriately for the role and wear something that will make you confident the day you try to prove you are worthy for the job with that short window you’re given.
These preparation steps will help you land that job. In our next article we will talk about the interview itself and how you can knock the socks off your interviewer causing you to land that dream job and launch your career.