You have an interview coming up, now what? The interview is often how employers choose between equally qualified candidates. How do you set yourself apart?
Confident but not Cocky
More and more companies are realizing the importance of team players. An employee may be perfectly capable of performing tasks but if they don’t work well on a team, it’s a no-go. If you come across as being cocky rather than confident, it could blow your chances at your dream job.
When it comes to hard skills, never oversell yourself. If you’ve only worked with a technology for 6 months, tell the employer rather than claim expert status. Even at your current job, make sure to be careful when estimating your ability. I know a consultant that was hired by a Fortune 500 company to do staff reviews. He asked each of the staff to give him a list of what they would be able to accomplish that week. At the end of the week, the staff that did not accomplish their own task list were fired. The reason? Being able to gauge your own ability level is a critical. The same goes for interviews. If you oversell yourself and can’t prove it, you most likely won’t be offered the position.
Admit if You Don’t Know
Employers don’t just ask tough question on interviews to see if you know the answer. They’re also trying to see how honest you are. If you don’t know the answer and give an incorrect one, it will look worse that simply admitting you don’t know the answer. If it is a hard skill, they may test you on it so being realistic about your abilities is key.
Just because you’ve emailed in your resume does not mean it ended up in printed copy in the hands of the hiring manager. Make sure to print and bring a professional copy.
I once interviewed someone for an office position and did not hire her because she was not professional. For the interview, she came in on a motorcycle with her boyfriend. I might not have minded except they both came into my office for the interview and he answered many of the questions. I could have made it clear he wasn’t supposed to be in the interview but there was no need. Employers won’t likely tell you if you’re doing something wrong in an interview. Just from the candidate coming into my office with her boyfriend in tow and letting him answer questions was all the info I needed to know she was not a good fit for the position.
What about you? What are your tips for nailing the interview?