I have been leading hundreds of job interviews in my career. I have met amazing people, aliens or people not connected to this planet, during these interviews. People are individuals, but what impresses me? How do you win at job interviews? I quit my old job in November 2010, and this company is currently downsizing and laying off somewhere between 100 and 150 former friends and co-workers. I hope this will inspire some of you guys to go get that dream job.
I have been interviewing good people that had no comments or questions after the interview, but where still prepared and knew about the company. Being prepared is being able to understand the job, the company and what they do. Visit their webpage, google and find out.
Elaborate when possible.
Please do say more than yes, no, eh, uhm or huh when asked a yes or no question. Elaborate when possible.
Remember that there will be control questions. If I ask: “do you know mySQL?” And you say yes, then I will ask you to describe a query of some sort.
Clean yourself up!
Some people claim that you should not dress up because then it will not be you. I don’t give a shit if you are a punk rocker, or if you dress like attending a festival at work. But if you show up at the job interview displaying no effort to get the job, you’ll be out before you are in. Suit up. I don’t care if you have piercings all over your face, as long as you do a good job. I will notice if you removed them at the job interview, and your effort to make a good impression gets you bonus points.
Do not be late I will repeat – DO NOT BE LATE
If you are late for a job interview with me, you might as well turn around and go home. If this job is so unimportant to you that you can’t manage on time, don’t waste my time. And if you are late for some reason – give me a call as soon as possible. Good excuses are: I crashed my car, there is a road block, I got lost, My kids are sick I need to find a babysitter, take a look at the local news website, the care on the top of that pile is mine. I noticed a man in the hallway once; I asked him if he needed help. He said; “oh I am here for a job interview, but arrived an hour early to be sure” – Oh sweet friend I thought, when can you begin?
Flip the coin
Prepare an employer interview. Almost nobody does this, and I find it strange. Imagine going on a blind date and deciding that the person on the other side of the table should be your spouse without talking to her/him? Or would you prefer to get to know the person? It is the same with work. You spend an equal amount of time working, sleeping and being awake off work. Most likely you will spend more time at work than with your spouse. I am going to list a few good questions for you:
– Who is in charge?
– What is his/hers leadership style?
– Who owns the company?
– What is your vision and values?
– What goals does the company have?
– What challenges does the company/department have?
– How do you measure success?
– How did you do on your latest employee survey?
– What do you do to engage employees?
– What opportunities are there within the company?
– How about employee turnover?
If you ask these or similar questions you might find out if the company fits you too. You do want to thrive at work, and I want you to love your job too. I wish you and all my former employees and friends good luck.