Just imagine, one interview guide that tells you exactly what to say, how to say it and how to act regardless of the company you are interviewing with. Well there are just two big barriers keeping that from happening but fortunately there is a solution to the problem.
Just imagine, one interview guide that tells you exactly what to say, how to say it and how to act regardless of the company you are interviewing with. Well there are just two big barriers keeping that from happening but fortunately there is a solution to the problem. First the barriers:
1. Every individual has a different interview style and uses different tools to help them assess candidates (if they use tools). Those tools include structured interview guides which can be behavioral and completely subjective. And they can include cognitive ability (intelligence) tests and other psychometric testing including personality profiles etc.
And then you have the sadistic interviewer which asks you those impossible to answer questions, seemingly just to see you squirm. That's not the intention of course and hopefully the interviewer actually does have a specific reason to ask you the types of questions they are, but sometimes you will still run across someone who isn't quite sure how to interpret your answers (they bought the car but don't know how to drive yet).
2. Every company has a different culture. So preparing to meet the needs of one company's style may actually backfire with another company. And think about it; do you really want to work in a culture that is completely against what you stand for? If you think it is important to always be dressed professionally (suit) and you interview with a company that thinks it is alright to wear jeans and flip flops then you may have a difficult time fitting in or enjoying the atmosphere.
Or on an even more serious note, maybe it is the culture of a company to have regular prayer meetings. That may be a significant factor in you wanting to work somewhere one way or the other. Having said that it is definitely important to put your best foot forward in an interview; just don't try to be someone your not because it will backfire on you.
To sum it up you just need to understand that everyone tests (interviews) and interprets differently.
Okay, are you ready for the solutions?
The only way to truly be prepared for each interviewer is to understand as much about the company culture and the interview process as possible. And that means:
- Researching the company through the media
- Talking to as many existing employees as you can
- Talking to anyone who many know the interview process
- Researching the Interviewer (s)
- Understanding the job description thoroughly (what the heck do you do everyday and what are you accountable for?)
- Formulate a plan and prepare based on each of the 5 items above
Preparation can include actually taking sample or full scale personality and cognitive ability tests. If you are completely out of touch with your own personality, you may even get some insight as to why you haven't landed the right kind of job or even mate for that matter. But the real benefit of preparing ahead of time is so you can:
1. Be ready to pro-actively address any deficiencies (like maybe you aren't smart enough on paper to take that engineering supervisor position but your accomplishments and specific past results far outweigh your ability to do well on a test).
2. Prepare how you would perform in the position. In other words come in with a plan and or ideas to take the position to the next level. Don't present this in an arrogant manor, otherwise it will backfire, but you can present it in a way that shows you are pro-active and take initiative.
3. Be ready to show how you are a perfect fit for the company culture and how synergistic relationships at work are much more productive than teams or individuals who are always fighting.
So there you have it. Although there are no perfect interview guides you can still be perfectly (well almost) prepared
About the author:Colin Daymude is Chief Employment Officer at The Job Genius and author of Getting past the Gate Keeper: How to get the work you love and the money you want. Get this free report at www.TheJobGenius.com