Regardless of the job, interviews all generally work the same way. The number of interviews you have may depend on the level of the job, but you can be certain that employers are looking for different things in a first interview than they are in a last interview. Understanding what you need to do to prepare will help you land the job. Here are some key tips that will help you survive the first interview and "seal the deal" in the final interview:
First Interviews center around first impressions, chemistry, and initial skills assessments. They answer basic questions such as:
• Do you show up on time? Are you courteous to everyone you meet?
• Are you dressed professionally?
• Is there a level of camaraderie in your interview that indicates you'd work well with the team?
• Are you able to explain why you want the job in a clear and concise way?
• Do you clearly know what the company does? Have you done your research?
• Are you able to articulate why you would add value to the business?
• Do you have the essential skills and experience required to do the job?
Final interviews help you "seal the deal" and prove you are the right person for the job. They address more specific questions such as:
• Have you demonstrated your strengths and given specific examples to show you can do the job?
• Did you effectively address any doubts a leader has about your candidacy?
• Have you consistently demonstrated a high level of accountability and responsibility?
• Have you demonstrated that you paid attention in previous interviews? Have you asked smart follow up questions?
• Were you able to handle unexpected logistical challenges and/or difficult interview situations with grace? Did you show that you can solve problems in a calm, professional manner?
• Does the leader feel confident that you're a smart investment? What can you say to give her peace of mind?
With a first interview, an employer has a general idea of what they’re looking for, but they want to get a sense of their options before narrowing the field to one or two finalists. The main purpose of a first interview is to find comfortable relationships and weed out people who can’t do some basic things well. Once the applicant pool has been narrowed down, interviews become more specific. Understanding what employers are looking for will help you learn how to read signals, address concerns, and ensure they feel confident you’re the best person for the role.
Happy Job Hunting!
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