I’ve been on the other side of the table for job interviews the last few months. One thing that I’ve noticed is lack of candidate preparation in the interview process. I want to hire people who work hard to get the job they’ve applied for. Here’s what I like to see from a candidate:
- Clarity, honesty, precision, concision. Your cover letter, resumé, and interactions with the staff interviewing you should demonstrate forthrightness. If you don’t know something, admit it. That will get you more points than trying to weasel your way around the answer. Don’t ramble.
- Demonstrated knowledge of the business and position. If you know jack about the organization or the position’s requirements, you appear ill-prepared.
- Asking questions about the business and how the position fits within it. If you do not show a desire to understand how a job fits within an organization, you probably do not care about the organization’s mission or values.
- Show respect for the process by dressing up. You don’t have to be rich to look nice, and people notice. I wore a tie to my interview at Burger King when I was 15½. I wore a tie to my interview as a seasonal teamster/warehouseman when I was 18.
- Be ready to answer tough questions. Even a menial job will require the ability to deal with the unexpected. We’ll want to know that you know how to handle those unexpected situations.
It boils down to one rule: Work as hard to get the job as you’ll work if you get it.