Saturday, May 11, 2013

What Does An Employer Really Want to Know In A Job Interview?

In today's competitive job market, it's no longer good enough to just show up at a job interview looking spiffy with a nicely written resume and an enthusiastic attitude.  Actually, that was never good enough.  Most of us liked to fool ourselves into thinking it was (or maybe I did).  In the small window of opportunity of the average interview, we have to demonstrate how we're more unique than the 100 people who are waiting to be interviewed for the same job.

Ask yourself, "what does an employer really want to know about me"?  In my previous posts I've talked about the importance of knowing one's accomplishments, transferrable skills and how you can add to a potential employers' bottom line.  Obviously, one has to  convey that during the interview (even if not asked!).  A job interview is not the best place to be shy about tooting your own horn (of course don't be obnoxious either.  That could be another post).


So, where am I going with all this?  While it's crucial to know your unique value, you also have to be prepared for some classic (and unoriginal) questions that will be hurled your way.  As a former recruiter, I've heard of interviews that went south because the most basic questions were poorly or inappropriately answered.  The question in question is, "why are you interested in this position"?  I have typically heard, "I'm interested in this position because it's an opportunity to learn a new skill and I enjoy learning."  No one ever got hired because they enjoy learning.  They get hired because of what they can bring to the table from day one with the transferrable skills they have developed.  Of course it's important to be interested in learning.  You don't keep your job or get promoted if you don't learn.  But it's not enough reason for a potential employer to hire you.

The next time you're asked the obligatory question, "why are you interested in this position"? the answer that's likely to impress is, "this position seems to be aligned with my capabilities and it gives me opportunity to utilize the skills I've developed in an impactful way."

No one ever said the interview process was easy but it's less likely to be intimidating the better you're prepared.

"Fortune favors the prepared mind."
- Louis Pasteur

"Good Night, And Good Luck"

Laura Rivchun




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