Job Interview Tips From a Human Resources Director
What The Interviewer Expects:
The following transcript is from our "Effective Interview Techniques" (CD-2) and offers
insightful observations by a Director of Human Resources for a major international
company. Her outlook from "the other side of the desk" helps job seekers plan and prepare
for their interviews. Here's what she has to say:
"Often, the biggest challenge is the ability to sell yourself. You must demonstrate on
personal and professional levels why you're the best person for the job.
"Those candidates who do not invest the necessary time to prepare for the interview are
most likely to present themselves poorly. It really surfaces when you ask them what
special skills they bring to the job, or why they're interested in the position.
"Candidates who are confident, prepared, and relaxed tend to be the most successful.
Again, it's taking the time before the interview that really makes the difference. Make
certain you know everything you can about the job, the organization, and your respective
part in it.
"An interview really is a two-way conversation. It's a chance for the candidate to tell
the potential employer why he or she is the best person for the job - and, to find out if
the organization is a good fit for him or her. Regardless of whether it's your first
interview or your 100th, approach it positively, enthusiastically, and confidently.
"For me, the key word is 'process.' It's easy to get overwhelmed by everything that
goes into preparing for, and undergoing, an interview. I believe by breaking the process
down into steps, it's easier to organize, and manage, and not let yourself become
overwhelmed. Of course, the quality you exhibit as you proceed through the various phases
often depends on the upfront work you do researching the organization.
"One of the most important things a candidate can do is research the company,
institution, or organization. Take the time to find out what the primary service or
product is, check out financial stability, and know the culture. This helps you determine
if this is a place where you want to work.
"Secondly, know yourself. Remember, the product you're selling is you, and every good
sales person knows the product inside and out.
"And, third, dress the part. First impressions are everything. A study by UCLA a few
years ago revealed that 55 percent of communication is non-verbal. That means a
significant part of your performance during the interview is not going to be based on
how you respond to the questions.
"The culture of a company is based on the structure, values, behavior, and social norms
that are supported by the organization. Every organization has its own internal culture,
and you need to penetrate that. Researching the organization is necessary to ensure the
prospective job is a good fit for you. Also, you need to know specifically who has the
hiring authority in the department or area in which you're interested. This is the person
who will receive your personalized and targeted communications. Additionally, you'll need
this kind of information for your subsequent interview.