Tag Archives: Interview preparation

The Interview Is Not a Chat But Trust Building

The Interview Is Not a Chat But Trust Building

Interview or just a chat?

Even if you’re told the interview is just an informal chat, don’t believe it. The interview is a business transaction whereby both parties are exploring the opportunity to initiate a work relationship. But if you stop and think about what is at the core of that potential future work relationship, the logical answer is mutual trust. Yes, we all agree that the interview is a process whereby the employer wants to determine whether you have the skills that employer is looking for, and if so, whether you’d be good at them or just average, whether you could solve work-related issues, whether you’d be well accepted by your peers—meaning, whether you’d fit into the organizational culture—and so forth. The employer knows there are other options and so reviews other applicants. But the candidate, too, knows there are other options and can explore other prospective employers. Above all, though, both parties are asking themselves—actually during the interview process—whether they can trust each other.

Mutual trust and confidence

This basic concept of mutual trust and confidence was solidified by the legal system in the distant past when it referred to the employment relationship between employee and employer carried an understanding that there is an implied obligation between the two parties to behave in a way that does not undermine that mutual employment relationship. Simply put, both parties should have each other’s back. This means that each party is expected to trust the other.

What does trust mean?

If you asked people how they interpret trust and what trust means to them, you’d get many and various answers. I’ve tested this numerous times when presenting to large groups, and the answers have clearly demonstrated to me that trust means different things to different people. For me, trust means you do what you said you’d do. On one hand, similar to the establishment of a personal reputation, trust is not something someone can establish instantly; it takes a long time to establish one’s trustworthiness because trust is based on behavior that is cumulative and over time. On the other hand, trustworthiness can be destroyed in an instant.

How to evaluate—and demonstrate—trustworthiness during an interview?

An easy way for an employer to test a candidate’s trustworthiness is via the common and mostly dreaded interview question, What are your weaknesses? I have never met anyone who likes that question. Here the employer is testing the candidate’s honesty and, thereby, trustworthiness. A good answer here is to talk about an occurrence in the not too distant past—something that is common and plausible wherein the candidate admits failure but then claims to have been smart enough to learn from it and by now has so well fixed it that others ask for his advice. This is a turnaround tactic that works in most cases.

In a job interview, the candidate should give several examples whose common thread shows honesty, dependability, reliability, and credibility. They all lead to trust. Conversely, the candidate, too, should look for those same qualities in the prospective employer. Mutual trust will lead to a long-term employment relationship.

Why Can’t I Get That Job?

Why Can't I Get that Job?

What do I need to do to get that job?

How often do you feel that you were a perfect fit for the position but did not get the offer?  You may have felt that you provided impressive answers, connected with the interviewer, had the exact experience wanted, met all their requirements, and even sent but timely follow up notes. Despite your extensive efforts, the company awarded the position to another candidate. If only you could understand why you did not get that job.

This presentation will open your eyes as to why you may not have won the position or may have never been in the running as a viable candidate. Alex Freund, The Landing Expert, shares what won’t be revealed to you by Human Resources or hiring managers. Based on his observations and experiences as a career search expert and someone who has hired hundreds of employees as a corporate leader, he will pull back the curtain on the interviewing process and why you weren’t “the one.”

Attending will enable you to identify potential signals as to what’s really going on.  You’ll become empowered to ask questions and act strategically so that you become the candidate who gets the offer.

In this session, you will:

  • Identify those things that rule out most candidates right away
  • Explore the “secret culture and decision making process” that exists in most every organization
  • Learn what to say when the hiring manager asks if you have any questions
  • Understand why and how someone will be an advocate for you

 

 

How Not Feeling Nervous When Interviewing

How Not Feeling Nervous When Interviewing

Are you nervous?

Most if not all people feel nervous before and during a job interview. For the past ten years, I’ve been helping people prepare for job interviews. I’m also a very experienced interviewer, but recently, when asked to be on a radio talk show, I went through the same emotions and nervousness as all my clients do—despite my vast experience. It’s normal. I just now listened to an old interview of famous Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti in which he revealed that—despite his years and years of seven-day-a-week vocal practice and endless stage appearances in front of thousands of people in an audience— he felt very nervous every time he appeared on stage.

A job interview is nothing less than an oral exam for which a person typically prepares ahead of time. And there’s nothing wrong with being a bit nervous, provided you know how to turn such nervous energy into a positive outcome. Otherwise, the nervousness can undermine your efforts and manifest itself in sweaty palms, dry mouth, difficulty thinking and focusing, talking very fast with poor enunciation, and eyes darting all over—all of which lead to a poor image and a downward spiral in self-confidence.

Sometimes the interviewer may not be attentive, or may demonstrate lack of deep interest, or may act visibly distracted and unfocused, or may feel hurried and simply not into it. That predicament generates strong negative feelings for the interviewer, especially when the job candidate wants to be liked and convincing and to appear professional and valued with the anticipation of getting a job offer. So let’s see how to deal with this daunting predicament.

First, you need to be very well prepared, with knowledge of the company and lots of facts and details about it. It’s also important to learn as much as possible about the interviewer or even several interviewers and, most of all if possible, about the challenges they’re facing. Having information on those issues via past, similar experiences with successful outcomes arms both parties with confidence. Second, position yourself to face the interviewer so that your shoulders are parallel to the interviewer’s shoulders. Think about the image of the anchor person reading the evening news on TV: make solid eye contact, but don’t stare, because that can make the interviewer almost freak out. Have both your feet squarely on the floor, and place your hands comfortably—whatever feels normal for you. Don’t cross your arms or lock one hand into the other with your fingers interwoven. It is perfectly normal to gesture, but minimally. Gesturing helps make emphasis and—combined with the words you say and the context—can make your responses even better. Think about American presidents making their famous speeches.

The main success factor in overcoming interview jitters and anxiety lies in practicing mock interviews with a competent trainer to the point that you feel confident. And then do a little more just for good measure. So, this has been my advice. What has been your experience? Please feel free to comment.