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Getting ready for Showtime: The job interview

February
11, 2020

6 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Kanika Tolver's book Career Rehab. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% in this book if you use code CAREER2021 by 04/17/21.

Most traditional career coaches teach you to prepare for an interview the normal way: know your resume, do company research, and review the job description. But I want to instruct my clients to tell their brand's story in a way that expresses their expertise.

When a person is looking for a new home, they want unique amenities, appliances, and spaces for the community that other homes don't. When you show up for an interview, your goal is to show what is unique and special about you. You want to make an unforgettable impression and have the panel feeling like you killed the interview.

"Showtime" during the interview should mean that you talk about your work experience as if it were a movie. Make the interview panel so familiar with your education, experience and expertise that they can get to know you as a person and not just as a professional. If you have a special offer or skill, describe your experience the same way you would describe a great movie you just saw.

When you sell yourself in job interviews, you are selling your career experiences through storytelling. Use this "Interview Preparation Checklist" to make a successful impression:

Know exactly your personal brand story and you can share it smoothly with the interview panel. They want to know who you are, where you were educated, where you worked and where you are going in the future. Understand the methods and technologies listed in the job posting. Familiarize yourself with the analysis of processes and life cycles in the industry and support them in the implementation of the technology. Describe how you can create added value for the company based on your offers and tasks. When a company offers a service and you have that expertise, explain how your experience, education and expertise can help move the company forward. Make sure that your personality is expressed through your answers and questions to the panel. Showing your personal side will help you get a feel for the company culture and get to know you too.

As you prepare for the show, rehearse with the people who can give you the best feedback. It's a great idea to practice with a good friend, spouse, mentor, career coach, or former manager or colleague (if you continue to be on good terms). Pick someone who will give you honest, raw feedback. I always practice my interviewing skills with my husband because he criticizes my answers, my technical knowledge and the way I submit my questions to the panel. Prepare for an interview 72 hours in advance so the information in your head is current.

Related: How to Become a Brand, Not an Employee

Don't bomb the interview

One of the biggest concerns most professionals have is poor interview performance. It's no different than when a house has been on the market for a very long time: the owner feels that his beloved house is a terrible piece of property. It's the same with us as professionals. But there are good reasons why you could bomb a job interview. Some of the most common interview mistakes you made include not getting dressed for the part, having limited knowledge of the company because you didn't research, showed up late, forgot to bring a copy of your resume, and didn't ask any questions about it the Company.

Of course, you can be late through no fault of your own: Perhaps a car accident caused a large, unexpected traffic mess. Life happens, but communicating your potential delay before you are actually late is crucial. Call or email the contact point to let them know of the situation and if you need to reschedule or if they still want you to come for the interview. In this digital age, having a hard copy of your resume isn't always required, but it's better to be prepared than unprepared. So please bring your CV to the interview.

Whenever you want to get dressed for the interview, always try to dress for the corporate culture and add a few personality traits. Don't overdo it because you want them to focus on your performance, not what you are wearing. If you don't do proper research, you may not be dressing properly. For example, if you're wearing a suit to an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, it's obvious that you haven't researched the company because it doesn't have a conservative culture.

For the interview panel, it's very clear if you don't know anything about the company. Most of the time, the interview panel gives you a brief introduction to the organization, but they want to evaluate your interest in the company based on what you can tell them about their mission, products, and services. So, dive deeper into your research. As you keep up with the company's new business announcements, blog posts, or customers, it's time to build your list of questions for the interview panel. Try to ask questions that bring that “wow” factor into the conversation.

Related: Why You Need To Start Dating Jobs

Most professionals ask standard questions about their role, company culture, and career growth. However, you want to ask questions related to where you can add value or where you want to go in the future. These can be:

Technical questions about the role and their responsibilitiesGeneral questions about company culture, growth, diversity or the work-life balance Wow factor questions about a current event or a business announcement regarding the future of the company

Was the company in the news recently for a new innovation? Ask for it! Today most companies are looking for creative professionals who can add value. At your interview, think outside the box as you discuss your interest in the company. Interviews offer the opportunity to convince the panel with your skill and your business-oriented ideas. So think about what kind of employees the company wants to represent its brand, and then sell yourself as a fan or advocate for the company brand.

Did you like your book preview? Click here to get a copy today – now 60% off when you use code CAREER2021 until April 17, 21.

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