So far everything has fallen into place for your dream job.
Your kick-butt résumé captured the attention of the hiring manager, you nailed the phone screen, and now you’ve been invited for an in-person interview.
You know it will be critical to prepare for the interview, but where do you start?
How do you ensure you will present your best self in the interview?
Most savvy job seekers will naturally prepare for an important job interview by:
- Researching the company
- Studying the company website
- Familiarizing themselves with the job description and functions
- Practicing answering difficult interview questions
But, to truly prepare for a job interview, one more important step is crucial.
You must take time to prepare the appropriate mindset.
Remember these five important things as you prepare for the job interview.
1. They believe you can do the job
The hiring manager has already read your résumé, and in most cases, has spoken with you via telephone.
It's clear that you can do the job and have something valuable to contribute to the success of the company. If not, they wouldn’t be talking to you.
So, you can step into the interview with complete confidence in the fact that you are being considered for the position.
They didn’t grant you the interview just to be nice; they really want to meet you.
In fact, they may be as excited about what you have to offer as you are about the opportunity to be hired.
2. They want you to do well in the interview
A lot of job seekers view a job interview as a big test.
They think they will be very lucky if they pass.
Their palms sweat and their stomach churns as they imagine being grilled with tricky questions that they must answer correctly.
Step back and view the situation from the standpoint of the hiring manager.
The hiring process is stressful for everyone, especially the one responsible for that new hire.
- Vacancies on a team affect productivity and morale.
- Filling the position with a great candidate is their focus.
- If you're interviewing, that means they have a good feeling you’re the stellar high-performer they want to add to the team.
Hiring managers have no interest in interviewing (and deflating the confidence of) nervous job seekers for sport.
3. The interview is about what you can offer
When it comes to preparing mindset for an interview, this idea is paramount.
- "What do you look for in a job?"
- "Why do you want to work for us?"
- "How long will you stay with us?"
These questions seem to focus on what you want; that is true to a point.
But as you answer these questions, you must convey that you want:
- To contribute to the success of the organization
- To be a part of a team
Making a contribution and being a part of the company’s success must be more important than getting your foot in the door and advancing your career.
Responding to questions in a manner that conveys an over-interest in personal security can be detrimental to your success.
4. Think "blind date" rather than "sales call"
While it’s important to sell yourself in a job interview, an overly “sales” mindset can convey an attitude of desperation.
A job interview is much like a blind date.
- The hiring manager expresses interest in you
- You express interest in the company and the position
The interview is an opportunity for each of you to confirm mutual interest and determine whether or not that interest merits taking things to the next level.
Communicate your interest and put your best foot forward, but do not oversell.
Desperation is never attractive ... on a blind date or in a job interview.
And remember, your first dates are more successful when you are interested in learning more about the other person.
So prepare to ask thoughtful questions and engage in meaningful conversation with the hiring manager.
5. Be yourself and answer questions honestly
At the end of the day, the best answer to any question is the answer you arrive at most authentically and organically.
Too often, job seekers will go into an interview believing they need to answer questions with “the correct answer” or that they need to embody a particular image or persona to win the job.
In any other professional situation, they show up with complete confidence.
But in a job interview, they believe they need to play a particular role.
This faulty mindset likens the job interview to a “game” or “contest,” and those who play it are seldom winners.
You are impressive enough without having to be anyone else.
In other words, be who you are.
The hiring manager really wants to know what you think and what you have to say, so speak with self-assurance.
You want to leave the interview believing that you presented yourself confidently and feeling good about the conversation, not wondering if they would have liked the real you better.
A job interview is really just a conversation between two potential colleagues or strategic partners.
It is an opportunity to learn, to share ideas, and to meet other professionals.
With the appropriate preparation and mindset, the interview process can be a valuable way of building your professional network.
This is true even if you don’t land the job.
Viewed properly, it might even be fun!
Connect with us at Find My Profession to see how we can help you find your next dream job!