Chapter 14: The Interview Process – Lights, Camera, Action!
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Congratulations! If you have been called in for an interview you should be very excited. The purpose of a resume is to get an interview! Some people think a great resume equates a job. No, a great INTERVIEW equates a job!
For every interview granted there are 10-100 applicants “rejected.” It really depends on the size of the company.
When I was a hiring manager, I picked one out of every ten candidates to interview. And that was the already “screened” candidates.
So let’s prepare for the interview. Ready?
Most organizations have a certain process to screen and interview candidates.
A typical process for a company that has an onsite human resources (HR) department may look like this:
Step 1: Receive Resume.
Step 2: Qualify Resume to Position.
Step 3: Call Candidate for Interview (This could also serve as a telephone interview).
Step 4: Have Candidate fill out internal application.
Step 5: Interview Candidate (5-30mins) in HR. (Initial Screening).
Step 6: Have Candidate Interview with Department Head (Usually the person you will work report to).
Step 7: Have Candidate Interview with an Executive or Director level person.
Step 8: (If necessary): Have Candidate Meet with GM
As you accomplish each step, your chances of success go up.
When you are first called for the interview your chances are already 50/50.
With each step completed, your chances increase by 10%.
But don’t let your enthusiasm over take you as you move up the interview chain. I have seen many candidates let their pride and ego overtake them as they grew more relaxed and confident in the process. Many times, candidates that are not mindful of their actions and words may start to get “too comfortable” with their interviewers, and start joking too much, or saying inappropriate things.
Remember the interviewer is “trained” to interview. And not all things may appear as they seem. Meaning the interviewer wants to “test” you and will. It may not seem so obvious, but there are hidden things they do and questions they may ask to try and understand your “character.”
We talked before about how your resume and social networking site is showcasing “a” character. And that character is you! In the interviewing stage the company wants to meet this character. They already like the character and “dig” the story! They just want to see if it’s “real.” If you are that same person (which you are – you never were pretending) in person as on paper, you got the job! If not, you don’t.
The interviewers don’t like fakes and they don’t like liars!
So, stay true to form and answer all questions honestly and humbly.
Remember the “law of attraction?” Well face to face communication is where it matters most. The initial interviewer already liked you. They are the ones that checked out your resume, clicked the hyperlinks, read your LinkedIn® (or other social networking site), and already like and trust you.
But, the next interviewers haven’t invested any time into “deep diving” your resume, this is where your personality needs to shine. Your goal on the second and third interviews is to represent your character well.
Don’t be fooled.
Many companies will give you 2-3 interviews in a row just because they want to compare notes.
Something you must be aware of is staying consistent to your answers. Two factors that may hurt you in interviews:
- You say something “bad” or “negative” about a previous interviewer. (One of the interviewers might ask, “so what did you think of so-and-so?”)
- Your answers are different to the same questions.
All the interviews will be “behavioral” based. Meaning all the questions will be circumstantial. The interviewer will ask you the “what would you do” and “how would you handle” “if” this certain circumstance existed type of questions.
They want to see if you can problem solve. In these types of questions, you need to be thoughtful, and really try to think of how you would handle those situations. There really is no wrong answer. But to say, “I don’t know,” well, that’s a deal breaker right there!
How to prepare for an interview
Preparing for an interview begins with studying the facts of the company.
- Know who the GM, President, CEO names are.
- Who are the people you are interviewing with? (You might get some information on your interviewers via LinkedIn®).
- What is the company’s history?
A really good idea is to study their website.
There is nothing else you need to study. Make sure your “character” doesn’t all of a sudden change before their eyes. This can only happen if you start lying.