A former client contacted me in a panic. She was driving herself crazy preparing for an interview. By the time she called, her head was spinning.
Knowing that she was more than qualified and a strong candidate, I asked her why she was so anxious. She stated,
” I have prepared answers for twenty-five questions and now I’m overwhelmed with trying to keep it all straight. I wanted to know what questions you think they’ll ask and if I missed anything.”
Considering the late hour and the her mood, I offered the following advice:
“Stop spinning your wheels and focus on owning the interview.” This I knew would regain her power and highlight her strengths and potential.
Preparing for an interview is a grueling process. Often we’re nervous because we don’t know what’s going to be asked and we know the interviewer holds the power. This lack of control makes it a nerve-wracking process.
Instead of spinning your wheels, I offer another approach to interview preparation; owning the interview.
It’s common to give ownership to the interviewer. Don’t get me wrong, the interviewer is the host and drives the pace and structure. However, you can own your responses, and that’s a lot of power.
Preparing responses that demonstrate attributes and skills that’ll make you successful in the role, will strengthen your interview. Therefore, own your next interview by trying the following:
- Think of What You Want Tell: In my experience, you can’t go wrong with selling your strengths and potential, Therefore, instead of thinking what the interviewer will ask, think of what you want to tell them. Chances are, you’ll be asked questions about your organizational, leadership and communication skills. Therefore, prepare at least 5 potential responses that demonstrate those attributes/skills and the results. Be sure to consider problems the potential employer faces and how you solved the same or similar ones.
- Prepare Success Stories: Examples that demonstrate teamwork, collaboration, creativity and conflict resolution are always winners. Chances are, your interviewer will be interested in your experience in these areas. Be prepared to describe a situation, what actions you took and the outcomes.
- Demonstrate That You’re a Fit: Researching a company requires more than just its statistics and facts. It should also include understanding the environment, team and boss. Research to learn about the interviewer as well. Responses that highlight your fit for the environment, type of work, team or boss will set you apart.
When it comes to preparing for your next interview, try taking ownership by telling them what you want them to know. With a little tweaking, most responses will fit the questions asked. With this approach, you gain power by taking out the guess work and you’re sure to promote your strengths and potential as well.
© SASHE, LLC , The Confident Woman, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jocelyn Giangrande, SASHE, LLC and The Confident Woman with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.