Your Top Priority in the Interview: Hint - It's Not Getting the Offer
Your Top Priority in the Interview: Hint - It's Not Getting the Offer

Success is measured by your results.  You’ve had this ingrained in you:.  It follows that if you didn’t get an offer after your interview, you failed.  Your self-esteem takes a hit and maybe even depression sets in.  “Nobody wants me.”

You make all about you.  You all have heard about how much a “bad hire” costs the company.  Well it costs you as well.  Your zeal to get the offer by overselling yourself with the “right answers” has resulted in a layoff after 6 months.  How’s that going to look on your resume?

Suppose you had a different number one priority.  If you achieved the goal of feeling good about the interview, regardless of its outcome, you had a successful interview because you maximized the process.  You are actually energized even though you didn’t get the offer.  You actually enjoyed yourself!

What should your number one objective be?  To focus on the fit between you and the organization, there are always three elements to an interview:  the candidate, the organization and the fit.  Too many interviewees make the interview all about themselves.  No wonder many job seekers become nervous or anxiety-driven before an interview. They need to learn that it’s not about them: it’s all about the fit.

Consider the following tips, focusing in on the “fit” and maximizing your interview:

  1. Interview Preparation: Besides your normal due diligence on the company, industry etc., always ask for a job description in advance.  Under Candidate Qualifications, concentrate on the “requireds.” Honestly evaluate yourself related to each point.  Come up with one or two stories that illustrate your success with each qualification. Keep you stories to less than 2 minutes please! If you are strong in over 80% of what they are looking for, this is a good start.  You can also prepare well thought out answers for the requirements where you are not as strong.

  2. During the interview: All of your answers should be relevant to their needs.  The number one mistake interviewee’s make in an interview is giving too much information.  They answer the question and keep right on talking. Keep in mind that the only wrong answer in an interview is a dishonest one. Establish an alliance with the interviewer.  You are both on the same team to examine the fit.  If the rejection letter comes, you can rebound quickly knowing that you are just fine.  The fit wasn’t there.

  3. The end of the interview: If you have kept your focus on your number one priority, you have a pretty good idea as to the “fit.”  Consider asking what concerns the hiring manager may have.  If there are too many concerns (especially about the facts of your background)), ask if they could recommend another manager where it might be a better fit.  If the answer is no, then ask if they could recommend anyone in their network outside their company.  It’s not a bad interview if you don’t get the “offer” but get three to four leads.

Organizations want to know how you can help them.  They are looking for solutions to their two main concerns: revenue and productivity.  With your confidence and a solid value proposition addressing those two needs you are now in a solid position to close the deal.

All in all, keep in mind: it’s not about you, it’s about the fit. With this idea in your head at all times, any time you interview, you will be leveling the playing field and reducing your anxiety. In the long run, you’ll find that fit more rapidly as well.