Successful Job Seekers Bring 5 Things to Every Interview…
Imagine that you are interviewing for a job. You’ve read about the company, studied the position description, and conducted a couple of mock interviews. You settle into the chair and I enter the room and introduce myself.
Over the course of our time together, I’m looking to see if you brought a few key things with you. If I see them, you are likely to receive a job offer.
1. An understanding of how you connect with our company’s values
Whenever I interview someone, I ask myself, Does this person value what we value? We are building a certain culture; will he help or hurt that effort?
If our organization values teamwork and all I hear in the interview is “I did this” and “I did that” the fit isn’t right.
Know the values of the organization you are trying to join. If there isn’t a natural fit, don’t go there. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or they are a bad organization. It simply means that neither will be happy in the long-run.
2. A track record of success and, believe it or not, failure
You need to have tried things, taken risks, delivered something that mattered – won at times and occasionally lost. I wasn’t looking for someone who only won, because that meant you weren’t pushing hard enough – trying new things requires us to stumble at times. More importantly than winning or losing is the ability to learn from each and every experience so that you are a better performer because of the route taken.
3. A passion for work
To have a truly fulfilling career, you must be passionate about the work. Yes, some days might stink – they do call it work – but you have to want something bad enough that the long hours, deadlines, and day-to-day demands are worth it. There are many ways to demonstrate passion in an interview. Don’t just describe the work you’ve done, talk about why it mattered, why you did it, and what you personally gained from the experience.
4. The ability to be flexible
A friend once told me that “a plan is nothing more than an agreed upon starting point for future changes.” Very few things go as planned, natural disasters happen, markets shift, the boss gets a new idea of how things should be done, kids get sick – you name it. The ability to adjust and still perform is key. It doesn’t mean you don’t get frustrated, it just means you get over it and get it done.
5. Plenty of curiosity
Pick up a book on interviewing skills or watch a Youtube video and you will learn to have a question or two ready to ask the interviewer. This is not what I’m talking about. I’m referring to demonstrating a true curiosity for work and life. Ask questions that are spontaneous, not scripted. Demonstrate that you want to learn as much as possible about the role to make an informed decision and that you have a desire to learn and grow in all that you do.