As a job seeker in today’s market, there are numerous resources and articles that can be found on tips and tricks associated with effectively interviewing for a position.
In order for candidates to best equip themselves for an interview, they need to first assess their current interviewing skills and then determine what tools are needed in order to succeed. This is easier said than done, as candidates may find it very challenging to self-reflect on areas of opportunity when it comes to presenting themselves.
When in an interview setting, one can assess many factors such as professional attire, body language, articulation, knowledge and qualifications. However, the ultimate factor in succeeding in an interview is preparation. Differentiation can be accomplished through researching the company and having readily available examples of their experiences and achievements. The following methods are ways to leverage the knowledge acquired through preparation.
- Research the company:
As practical as this sounds, many interviewees do not take the time required to fully understand the organisation that they are interviewing with. This is more than just skimming the company website. Some key areas include the following:
- Be aware of the organization’s services, products, customers to provide you with an edge in understanding and addressing company’s needs. This will greatly assist you when providing responses to questions.
- Ensure you are familiar with the company’s mission, vision and values. Normally, best practice is to be familiar with at least of 3 of the company’s values and the company’s CEO.
- Know any awards or areas of distinction the organization has achieved. This could be social responsibility, top employer awards, or other areas or recognition from the community and how it resonates with you.
- Understand the organization’s industry, economic climate and competitors. This will help you paint a picture of the most critical needs of the organization at the time of interviewing with them.
Be assured that the question “Why do you want to work here?” will be posed during the initial pre-screening interview and may reappear again in later stages of the organization’s interview process. This question ensures that candidates have done their due diligence and filers those who are committed towards working for this organization. Be prepared!
- Study the Job Description:
As a candidate, it is advantageous to differentiate yourself through creating examples of each of the core job duties. This can be done through reviewing the tasks and then breaking them down into core competencies and skillsets. For example, if the job description states “Practical experience in Microbiology”, then identify specific techniques that you are familiar with and have an example of where you have used them. Taking this scenario a step further would be to have a rating for skillsets in each technique and having examples of utilizing the techniques based on the type of tasks the organization requires.
- Interview Questions:
Rehearse commonly asked interview questions such as strengths and weaknesses, why you would be a good fit for the company, what differentiates you from other candidates. It is prudent to have concrete examples for each of your answers. There are many websites that provide commonly asked sample interview questions and recommended responses. Take the time to review them and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
It is best to practice with a family member or a friend to ensure confident and poised responses.
- Interviewee Questions:
Typically, at the end of interview, the interviewers will ask if you have any questions. The general protocol requires asking a minimum of 2-3 questions. These questions can be in regards to the organization’s culture, team structure, challenges or goals. It is best practice to have these questions readily available at the end of the interview.
After all the preparation is complete, remember to relax and be confident!
Wishing you the best of luck!
Executive Recruiter – Life Science