11 Tips For Successful Interviewing

This post is written for the Interviewee – not the Interviewer…

The average tenure for a professional in the online marketing space is just over eighteen months. That is eighteen total months as an employee at the company…

With this amount of chair swapping taking place, it is due time that we all improve our interviewing skills.

Interviews are not like other conversations. People with great interpersonal and communication skills are not always great interviewees. It is a separate skill set. Here are some of the key components:

1. Be prepared. Know as much about the folks you are meeting with as possible. Know about the company. Read their press, read about them in the news and in social media. Know their product and service lines. Know their competitors. Practice by talking about the company to friends and relatives before the interview.

2. Be goal oriented. Many times people go into interviews with the wrong goal in mind. They either want to find out what the company has to offer, or they are fact-finding about the role. Both are bad ideas. Your goal must be to get yourself an offer. Your opinion of the job, the people and the company are irrelevant unless you get an offer. You can always go back and clarify points, modify aspects of the role, etc. once you have an offer. If you go in there and interview the interviewers there will be no offer.

3. Be relevant. You may have some really interesting accomplishments and skills that are outside the scope of the job you are interviewing for. Do not bring them up unless you are asked. Otherwise you will leave your interviewer wondering why you chose to discuss these skills and experiences rather than the ones required for his/her open job. Invariably they will assume that you are more interested in doing those things…

4. Be positive! I don’t care if you were water boarded in your last job. Don’t say it! Interviews are not therapy sessions. You will not get sympathy. Your interviewer will immediately wonder if it was you or the environment that was the problem. Why go there? It is always better to put a positive spin on all of your experiences.

5. Care. Or at least look like you care. Do not play it cool. Tell them that you want the job. Tell them why you want the job.

6. Be specific. Paint a picture of what their world will look like with you in it. Tell them how you will make this new reality possible in as much detail as possible.

7. Look like one of them. Don’t show up in a suit and tie if it is a jeans and tee-shirt shop – or vice versa.

8. Do not talk about money. If they bring it say something like, “Salary is not my primary motivator. I am really more focused on finding a good long-term fit for my skills. I’m confident that the money will be there in the long run.” If they keep asking though, don’t keep punting. Then you are just being annoying. The rule is punt twice.

9. Don’t talk hours, remote office, benefits, or vacation. Do yourself a favor – wait to ask HR about these things AFTER the offer is made. When you get your big chance to ask intelligent questions, don’t use it up on the dental plan.

10. Be nice to HR. Yes, the questions are annoying. No, they do not understand what you do for a living. Yes, you still have to be nice. In a lot of companies they are influential in the decision-making process.

11. Follow up. Send thank you notes. If you have poor writing skills have someone proofread them. Try not to make them generic (refer to things that you discussed). Remind them that you want the job. Be brief.

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