Mastering Your Next Job Interview
After interviewing over ten people for a full-time Office Manager’s position, in a very competitive job market, I ended the day preferring a few people who possessed a commanding presence while displaying a tinge of humility. In other words, there is a way to verbalize your competence without sounding arrogant.
How can job candidates balance their approach to master a job interview to garner more favor? Here are a few tips, from an experience recruiter, to help you have a better experience:
1. Before the interview: Optimize your resume through simplicity and proper structuring
As a recruiter, I have seen many resumes come through my office. The best ones are simple and structured in a way where I can find the information I need very quickly. So simplicity and structuring are great for me as a recruiter; other recruiters maybe different. For example, I have even seen five page resumes crowded with information. These resumes become an eye sore for me as I peruse page after page looking for the right information. A resume should be no longer than two pages in length. So, clarity and being pithy are king in resume formatting.
Second, by putting every job you ever had on your resume since High School is unnecessary, especially if you have been in the workforce for 20 plus years. Some individuals seem to think by showing a long list of jobs is actually a positive. I don’t think so! Any job or jobs after ten years can be summarized in one short paragraph, and current jobs can be maximized by short snippets of what you actually accomplished, and how you were recognized and rewarded for your work.
And finally, make sure you can be easily found by showing current contact information such as your address, at least two phone (yours and your spouses or significant other), and at least two viable emails are preferable. In addition, by placing your LinkedIn profile address on your resume, you can be reached more readily through their “messaging” systems. In the past, I have passed up good candidates simply because they were not responding to their email or their phone was disconnected.
2. At the Interview: Display your competence by the way you communicate
I place a higher value in the way someone communicates, more than by their mere experience or competence on their resume. Don’t misinterpret me, competence is crucial for any role, and recruiters should do their best to get to the bottom line of a person’s capabilities. They best way to get to the bottom line is through the interview process, by simply engaging someone through a series of common and “gothca” questions, where one can see how a candidate responds under surprise and pressure. If a person is able to communicate effectively in an interview, then they are far more competent then those with experience who are seemingly unable to get a simple point across without projecting arrogance.
Communication is a big factor in the workplace, and without a fearless communicator, a client of mine will have to put forth more energy to connect with this person. Therefore, an employee who supplies short pithy answers with a high level of clarity are better suited for the job, than someone providing long drawn out answers with no substance and meaning whatsoever.
3. Don’t forget, a tinge of humility goes a long way
What is worse, in the interview process, is the arrogance of candidates who say things like, “Oh that’s easy! I can do that in my sleep.” Oh you can, I think to myself, I would like to see that! These type of answers tell me something about the candidate; vague, boring and incompetent. A well thought out answer, even with some communicative missteps, is far better than a short vague answer.
When I have the extra time, I tend to coach some of my candidates, and take a big risk doing it, after an interview. For example, if someone interviews badly, I will tend to provide them with some good points about their interview, as well as, the negatives they can improve for the next interview. You can show competence and assurance in an interview, as long as, you can display some humility while doing it.