How to Have a Meaningful Interview

Jun 4, 2014 9:26:00 AM · by Karl Dinse

If you ask tenured recruiters what's the myth they've most frequently encountered in the business, most would tell you it's the feedback they receive when debriefing candidates following interviews. So often, according to those candidates, they "nailed it" or they "hit a home run" or they’re certain to get a job offer. The reality: More than 75% of the time the employer has no interest in them. In fact, they had a very forgettable interview. Why the disconnect? What happened?

In this scenario, the candidate believed they did really well because they talked a lot, the interviewer was very friendly, and they got along well.  In contrast, the client typically reports back that the person talked way too much, and was not focused or engaged in a manner that addressed roles and responsibilities of position. In this case, we also learn that the candidate didn’t have any questions and didn’t take a genuine interest in the company, but was more concerned about informing the client of how great they are and how well they could do the job. 

So, what’s the takeaway here? What can you do differently to ensure that you don’t have this outcome? First of all, interview preparation is key. I’ve addressed this in previous blogs, but it’s certainly worth repeating. The “A player” is going to do very thorough research on the company, including its history, culture, vision, values, and mission.  They’re going to have studied the position description and be prepared to state their skills and qualifications in a story format that quantifies their accomplishments relative to the tasks described in the position.  They’ll have questions prepared that “peel the onion” in regard to challenges, problems, and even threats that the firm may be facing.  They’ll want to learn how they can be the solution and then articulate their problem-solving skills that relate to the particular situation. 

By taking this approach, candidates stand a much greater likelihood of having a meaningful interview that will, at a minimum, result in more positive feedback from the employer. 

You may also like: Resumes: What's the Same as 20 Years Ago? What's Different?

General, Resume Tips, Career Planning, Hiring, Interviews


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