Parts of an Interview and 3 Overlooked Steps to Land Your Dream Job

parts-of-an-interviewDid you know there are 6 distinctive steps to an interview? Your not alone if you are you thinking “Isn’t it just a a bunch of questions?”. Most candidates don’t understand that the interview is a structured process and that once understood can be used as a tool to stand above the competition. If you don’t feel 100% ready for your next interview, we are here to help. Learn the 6 parts of the interview and act on the 3 most overlooked steps to get the offers you want!

6 Parts of the Interview:

  1. Prepare for the Interview
  2. Introductions
  3. Validation
  4. Inquiry
  5. State your Ask
  6. Close the Deal

Prepare for the Interview – Critical

Are you planning on winging it? Are you telling yourself that I don’t want to sound scripted and that you know your background better than anyone else- so why do you need to prepare? If so, you are skipping one of the 3 most critical steps in ensuring a successful interview and getting offers. Preparation is key to ensure the your interview goes flawlessly.

There are many ways to prepare but our basic recommendations includes 4 simple steps

  • Research the company, department, and position
  • Review your resume and career accomplishments
  • Write out likely questions and your a outline of your answers
  • Rehearse…Rehearse…Rehearse

Introductions

You may be asking yourself why introductions are listed as part of the interview. This is what happens before the interview starts and isn’t really meaningful, right? Wrong! The interview starts for the moment the first point of contact in initiated. How you present yourself, your communication style, and how you answer the simple questions are all used to assess how well you can meet the needs of the role and work within the company.

We have 3 simple recommendations for this step:

  • Research company, city, and regional news
  • Research relevant news sites and industry blog
  • Research the interviewers are look for common background

Validation

This is the part everyone thinks of when they hear the word interview. Some call it questions and answers,  others call it the assessment, but no matter the name this is the phase when an interviewer asks you questions and you provide answers. The objective for the interviewer is to validate that you have the knowledge, experience and soft skills to succeed in the role.

In order to ace this section you need to do the following:

 

  • Use examples instead of just describing an approach
  • Follow the STAR process
    • State the Situation you were in
    • Describe the high level Tactics you leveraged
    • Review each tactic and describe specific Actions
    • Highlight Results that you achieved
  • Close with a one sentence restatement of the question and summary

 

Inquiry

The interviewer has had their chance to ask you questions and now its your turn to inquire. The purpose of this section is to ask questions that help the interviewer see you in the role. Good questions show your interested in learning what traits and behaviors will help this role and the overall department successful.

Examples include:

  • Can you describe what traits make person successful at your company?
  • Can you describe how you would measure my success in the first year in role?
  • What would be my role in <insert project, goal, objective> , that you describe earlier?

State your Interest – Critical

First, let me say you will likely not follow this advice, as its the most overlooked action that an candidate can do. It may feel like the hardest part of the interview for you, even through it should be the easiest since you wouldn’t be at the interview if you dint want an offer.

After you have a chance to ask your questions and inquire how you will achieve success in the role, it’s now time to explicitly state your interest. It sounds like this… Thank you so much for the time today, I just want to say one more thing. Alex, I want an offer. Based on the opportunity you described, the culture of the company, and my career aspirations I believe this is a great fit. Your reasons why will vary and should be relevant to the conversation, but you should always state you want to the offer. The goal is to clearly state your interested and ask for the position. By following this advice you have expressed more excitement and interest than any other candidate they will see.

Close the Deal – Critical

Once the interview is over, your job is not done. Follow-up is critical to increasing your chances of getting an offer. This  step is often overlooked and if followed will help set you apart  Our guidance is simple. First within 24 hours send a hand written thank you card to all the individuals your have engaged with. Yes, handwritten! This may seem old fashion but it’s a lot easier to look past an email than a physical card. Either get a business card from each interviewer or ask the recruiter for contact information. Each card should be tailored to your conversations and not a generic message in order to build connection and help them remember the conversations you had.

After you send the thank you cards, we recommend you reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager every week. Alternative between email and phone calls and make sure you restate your ask and interest in the position at each step.

I hope this has been a helpful overview. Please, share your tips in the comments and forums. Over the next few weeks we will post specific posts on  each step in more detail, so stay tuned!

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