Chris Sotomayor

Job interview with manager in office

Five Interview Tips for Job Candidates


Research Your Interviewer(s)

Do your research and find out as much as you can about your interviewer(s). It’s always an advantage to know their background and experience. At the very least, visit their LinkedIn profile to see how long they’ve been with the company and what they might have done before coming into their current role. It’s good to scan for things you might have in common with your interviewer, such as having graduated from the same schools, or spent time in the same cities. All else being equal, we tend to feel more favorable toward those with whom we share something in common.

Prepare for Most Common Interview Questions

Be prepared for the most typical questions. There are typical warm-up questions that will be asked in virtually every interview, such as “Tell me a little about yourself” and “why do you want to leave your current position?” Be ready to provide succinct and impactful answers to such questions. Avoid delivering lengthy and rambling answers that divert time away from the most important questions the interviewer wishes to ask. In a typical 30 to 45-minute interview, there may be a few critical questions the interviewer has in mind, and if you run out of time before you’ve had an opportunity to answer them, it’s likely it will harm your candidacy.

Culture Fit is Critical

Understand the importance of cultural fit. How a candidate fits into corporate culture remains a critical factor that most candidates are evaluated on. Interviewers are much more favorable toward candidates they feel will be able to fit into their environment. It’s helpful if you know someone (or can get to know someone) already working at the company who can give you an insider’s perspective on the company’s culture. The more you seem like ‘one of them’, the more likely you are to get an offer. It’s helpful to mention that you already know some people on the team and that you’ve heard good things about the culture with specific examples that align with your values.

Show How Positive You Are About the Role

Show authentic positivity. Interviewers often ask themselves, ‘does this candidate really want this job, or does this candidate just need a job?’ They want to hire candidates who will be a solution to a set of problems while screening out candidates they feel will create additional problems. Demonstrate authentic positivity about the challenges and responsibilities of the role in your interview, as well as confidence in your ability to deliver and exceed expectations.

Your Questions Show Your Competence

Ask intelligent questions of your interviewer(s). The questions a candidate asks in an interview demonstrate interest, commitment, analytic ability, and experience. Be ready to probe for the style of information and reporting your hiring manger will prefer, as well as establish clear priorities for the first 30, 60, and 180 days into your role. Always clarify what success will look like, and how it will be measured. Be ready with suggestions and your point of view on what success should look like and how you will make it happen.

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If you follow the above 5 tips, the odds of having a successful interview and being invited to the next round or receiving an offer will be dramatically improved.

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