Last night I attended a local SHRM meeting where we had a diverse panel of speakers, all working in the recruiting and talent management field.  When I asked, “what do candidates need to be ready to present in an interview?” I received the following 3 answers:

  • The truth! Meaning you need to be truthful in your experience on your resume, if your resume got you the interview and you didn’t have the true experience it says you do, you are toast – worse, you won’t even be offered a different position that may be open in the company because now, they don’t trust you. You may think this is a ‘DUH’ moment but when people are panicked to find a job after being downsized, resized, laid off, or relocated, they start seeing things a little wonky and feel that getting their foot in the door is the only way to be seen.  Not true!  Get VERY clear on what type of job you need and can do well and go after that type of job (regardless of industry) – not just any job in any industry. Craft your LinkedIn profile and resume to meet the needs of that type of job.  Recruiters mine LinkedIn for talent thoroughly, as well as use other means to get applicants.  Be clear, be determined, be patient, and network – but above all else – be clear about what you can do.
  • The ability to communicate! This is where I find the most area for improvement and where training and practice actually helps develop this skill. But what does this really mean? It means you need to be able to communicate your experiences: what you did, when you did it, who was affected by it, and what that experience adds to your current skill levels.  This isn’t easy unless you have seriously prepared – be ready!

  • Your Experiences! Have experiences to share that support why you are the person they should hire for the role you are interviewing for. Note:  These don’t have to simply be what you did the in the last position – look deep into your past.  Look at the skills required for the role – these should be the key to connect the experiences you share.  You are a culmination of ALL you have done so being able to explain any experiences along the way that are a key link to the skill they need are relevant.  This is especially true when you are doing a career pivot – many skills transfer to many different roles, use your critical thinking here and communicate your experiences.

Congratulations on getting the interview!  Now start practicing how you will communicate your value.  Understand what skills are required for the job, research the company more thoroughly than you did for the cover letter, especially now that you have the interview, and practice communicating your experience stories to allow them to get to know you and how you work.

 

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Interviews fall short if you don’t learn how to be relevant, both in understanding your own success and how it aligns with the job you want (and what the company wants from you).

 

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