Getting the job: the interview

Careers with Hart
with Jay Hart

If you've made it to the interview, your CV and cover letter show you've got what it takes for the job advertised. Unfortunately, so does everyone else they're interviewing. So who gets the job?

The interview is really about the employer figuring out who they want to work with.

Try to connect with the interviewer as a person. Find something mundane to agree on at the onset of the interview; the weather, coffee, pets. Stay positive, make eye contact and really listen to what they are sharing so that you can connect with them in a meaningful way. Keep it light and stay within professional boundaries.

You want to make sure your potential employer knows you really want the job, leaving no room for insecurities in this budding relationship.

Be clear as to why you want this job and what value you would add to the role. This way you sound confident and capable, not desperate for just any employment (even if you are). Employers want to feel chosen.

Before the interview, choose five words that best describe you and are relevant to the role for which you’re applying. For example, 'aggressive' could be a great word to describe you when applying for a sales role, but maybe not for one in health-care.

Work your five descriptive words into conversation during the interview, by stating them directly and indirectly. For example, if you said that you pursue targets with single-mindedness, the employer would think ‘aggressive’ without you having to repeat use of the word.

By the end of the interview, if someone were to ask the interviewer to describe you, they should jot down the five words you were hoping to leave them with. This puts you in control of the impression you’re making.

And remember that not everyone can work together. It’s better to establish this during an interview and be free to pursue the right employment opportunity. You really don’t want the wrong job.


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