So you got on base, you’re rounding 3rd and on your way home and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel… that feeling of joy is about to erupt…
You Ae Successful: You are Hired
- You came with confidence
- You looked them in the eye and smiled
- You made it about them
- You focused your answers on making $, Saving money and increasing efficiency
- You used Power words like Results, Success, Achievements & Contributions while adding macros, templates, policies, procedures, documentations, initiatives, implementations that YOU personally created!
You have managed to make your interviewer salivate at the prospect of how much you will contribute to the company so what’s left??????
Well 2 main concepts. The first revolves around your strengths and weaknesses and the second about the art of sucking up, yes it true flattery will get you everywhere!
Most people when asked what are your strength usually resort to the same boring meaningless words: I’m hardworking, dedicated, committed, loyal and a team player. This answer is useless and predictable. Fact is very few people go into an interview and say: I am lazy, I will show up late, none of my work will be any good, I really hate people…Please hire me. This only works if you are related to someone in the company or having an illicit affair with them! Instead of regurgitating the words which have a different meaning and value from person to person and company to company. For example: In public accounting during tax season most work close to 80 hours a week. That is considered normal or expected so hard working would be what 100 hours of work?
Instead give examples from your career and life that demonstrates the words. I.e. Had a project to finish and there was no way it would get done on time, so I worked 2-3 hours of overtime without pay for 2 weeks to finish the project on schedule. Now you have demonstrated hardworking dedicated and committed and as an add bonus mentioned you are willing to work Overtime without pay which EVERY company loves!!! ALWAYS give personal examples with results rather than just empty words!
Your weaknesses a question most people hate as they feel awkward answering it. Most people resort to the safe and predictable I’m a perfectionist, I’m too hard on myself, My technical skills can be improved etc…Understand that the design of this question is not to see that you are perfect, it is designed to see to gauge that if something were to go wrong the company can give you constructive criticism and feedback you will not go postal on them and will adapt to the company culture and value system.
I recommend adding a little more flavor to your answer in a couple ways: the first involves making a little fun of yourself by saying something like my girlfriend thinks I am perfect but if I had to think of something I would say [INSERT WORD HERE]. The other method of answering this question is the past, present future rule. Rather than explaining let me give you an example for a clerical position of how this technique can be effectively used. You might reply something like, “In the past I used to have a problem with time management. I got hired by XYZ company as a clerk working directly with a manager. Although my plate was always full, and more was always added, if my work did not get done the managers work suffered. I had to learn how to prioritize and re-prioritize all my work. Not only did I receive numerous awards, I also have a glowing reference letter. Because of this experience time management is no longer a problem and I can assure you that if I were hired by such a great firm, I would ensure that I am on top of my files and doing whatever it takes to help your company grow by leaps and bounds.”
Lastly Suck up where ever possible! Throughout the interview agree, nod and confirm that this sounds like a great opportunity, a fantastic company, a place you see yourself working etc. It is important to be honest in your answers and reassuring a company you want to work for them is very important in initial interviews this is also mentioned in the prep. This is not limited to saying how great things sound and how much you would love to work there but also the questions you ask at the end of the interview. You should ask 2 or 3 questions about the company and position along with a few questions like these:
- How do you motivate employees?
- What are some examples of the achievements of others who have been in this position?
- What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
- I’d love a chance to show you what I can do. Can you give me an example of a situation you’re facing right now, and we can spend the next few minutes working through it?
- If I were hired tomorrow what is the first thing I can do to make an immediate impact? What ever the company says, re-assure them with examples that you can do it or handle it with flying colours and that you are indeed a fit. As you can produce results.
You have done it, Aced the interview, won the challenge and YOU ARE HIRED! In future blogs there will be information on trick questions, specific questions. You need to make finding a job as important as breathing.