Every time I observe a client interviewing a new job candidate I learn something new. The two most recent candidates I saw being interviewed for an executive position had presented well in previous interviews: good listening skills, good answers and the right questions. But when it came around to the next set of interviews one candidate faltered while the other shined.
Based on my most recent experiences, I would like to share two essential tips to interviewing well that I hope help you.
Stay on track
Do not allow yourself to get off topic while answering a question. While you may ramble because you are nervous or it’s simply part of your habit it is very annoying and will kill the interview. The first candidate kept on talking and gave off the impression to the interviewer that everything he had to say on every subject was important to share. But rambling can cause the interviewer to stop listening.
The interviewer asked this first candidate three maybe four questions and as the candidate told his career story – he just rambled. I have been surprised by candidates before and will again, but he covered his nervousness by relating information – lots of information – and subsequently was not considered for the role.
The second candidate sat to interview and immediately put us all at ease.
Always exude humble confidence.
What is humble confidence you ask? It’s just as billed. The second candidate came in and it was apparent when he looked us in the eye, smiled and sat down that he felt good about himself…comfortable in his own skin. Here we go, this is the place you need to be when interviewing – happy and confident about whom you are. You may be good at hiding things you don’t like about yourself but when that serious moment comes, like an interview, you don’t want to lose control. This candidate kept it together and was hired for a very unique and interesting executive leadership role, one that will push his career forward.
In order to avoid rambling in an interview, take some time to get to know who you are, what you’ve accomplished and where you’re headed. Figuring out and expressing who you are will take courage and openness to deal with personal aspects you may not like and the ability to seek help when and where needed.
The interview process can be a personal growth journey if you pay attention and apply what you learn. And this is true at all levels.