3 Reasons You Are Scoring Interviews, But No Job Offers

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Interviewing is one of the most stressful things we can go through on the road to finding our dream job.  The process is frustrating, annoying, and overwhelming! Ugh, I feel exhausted just thinking about the prospect of interviewing.  I know just how you feel.  But, I found the light at the end of the tunnel when I realized I needed three key things to help me get L.A.Z.E.R. focused with my interviewing and FINALLY land me those coveted face-to-face interviews, and finally the job. 

Let me set the scene.  

You have been applying for jobs and networking your face off.  And, finally, you start landing interviews! Yes! But, you have been interviewing for heavily and somehow, you aren’t sealing the deal.  You seem to get stuck somewhere between the phone screen and the face-to-face interview.  What are you doing wrong? Why are you unable to translate your skills on paper to a conversation with the recruiter or hiring manager.  Something has to give!  

Well, never fear, let’s walk through those mistakes, learn how to read between the interviewing tea leaves, and make sure you are making to ensure you make your way through the process and are that much closer to landing your dream job!

Preparing for the interview requires an in-depth evaluation of the job description and a firm understanding of your target audience.

 

1. Mistake #1 - You Didn’t Break Down The Job Description to Its Bones

Understanding the reason the job was posted in the first place is the first requirement toward successful interviewing.  Think of the current scenario, you need a chocolate cake baked for 100 people, with sprinkles.  The baker you hired shows up with vanilla cake for 50, with not one sprinkle on deck.  You refuse the cake because ugh, "Didn't he pay attention to the description of the cake on my order form"? When you fail to break down the job post to its requirements you are destined to fail every single time.  

The job posting helps you break down the interview into three points

Showing you are well versed in company culture, current issues, and business concerns - Break out that company website and get comfy, honey! Think about the business model for the organization.  How does this job connect with company purpose?  What are the current goals of the organization? Think about how the work you do contributes to the bottom line and overall purpose of the company.  How can you help simplify current concerns? Create questions based on any holes you find in your research! A lack of deep questions shows a lack of curiosity or awareness regarding the needs of the position.

Understanding the BIG Three Areas of Focus for the Interviewer  -  Take the job post and break out that highlighter.  What are the common themes? What words or buckets appear frequently.  Break the post down into three buckets.  Rather than portray yourself as a general all-rounder, it can be more effective to just highlight your exceptional abilities in two to three areas. Analysis conducted by Stanford Business School about the employment prospects of its MBA graduates found that those exhibiting “spikiness”, that is, specialization and high competence in a few skills, did better than those who had an average level of competence over a wider range of skills.

Ask yourself these questions -

  1. What does the job description tell you about company culture?

  2. Can you tell what an ideal candidate looks like

  3. Do you understand how this role fits into the overall team? The department? Or the Company?

  4. What are the three major focus areas discussed in repetitious fashion throughout the job post?

2. Mistake # 2 - You Didn't Connect Your Skills to The Manager's Pain Point

In order to get a callback, you need to get straight to the nitty gritty and cut the B.S. - You need to know what the job really requires and flex your authority on the most critical topics for the hiring manager).  You have to get your interviewer talking off script. You do this through a method call Pain Interviewing.  Every hiring manager has a pain point, and the job is open exactly for this reason.  Someone or something isn't working perfectly, something requires immediate change.  Your job is to find the pain point, and show off how you can kill the game with your skills in a consultant capacity, and provide answers to help solve the problems.  People like to brainstorm and solve their biggest problems, who wouldn't love free advice?

So you broke down the job description into the BIG 3, above.  Now it's time to get right to the meat. Ask some of these questions -

  • Are you satisfied with the current status and growth of the business?

  • Are you meeting the targets desired with your important internal and external clients?

  • What are the areas where you are having problems meeting deadlines?

  • What keeps you up at night?

Now you have them talking - hit them with how you can help solve the problems. The best way to do this is to tell stories about how you previously solved the same or similar problems for your employer.   You can't portray yourself as a general all-rounder, it is more effective to highlight your exceptional expertise in 2-3 areas aligned with the manager's pain points.  

Wow your interviewer with answers in the form of the CAR (Context, Action, Result) method to answer their questions. What this means is you: 1) Describe the relevant Context or situation 2) List the Actions you took to complete that task or resolve the situation 3) Finish with a description of the (impressive) Results of your actions.  This is not the time to wait the time is imperative!

TO KILL AN INTERVIEW YOU HAVE TO SHOW HOW YOU ARE THE ASPIRIN - SHOW HOW YOU CAN FIX THEIR PROBLEMS. 

Mistake # 3 - Failure to Anticipate the Questions and Have Ready Answers

Interviewing is all a game, if you understand the job function, to its core, you can absolutely predict the interview questions (if you don't know what I mean here its time for you to get some informational interviews under your belt, friend)

Interview Questions fall into three categories

  1. Personality - how you interact and connect with others 

  2. Aptitude - your ability to adapt and do things their way 

  3. Experience - The skills you bring to the position 

Make sure you prepare answers to questions in the form of CAR (discussed above) 

  1. Personality - Show situations where you were able to inspire and rally the troops at your old job

  2. Aptitude - Show how you were able to think outside the box and come up with a solution to a difficult situation

  3. Experience - the direct projects and quantifiable experiences that align with the BIG 3 topics we determined above (how can you show and prove your work) 

Make sure you have done your homework and understand the company and their goals (Take a look at Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Indeed to get some behind the scene) Read many reviews and look for keywords.  Take a look at the videos, pictures and articles to really get deep on how you will connect with the company and your skillset to make sure you understand their needs. 

Set your plan, organize your plan of attack in advance. Go kill your interviews!  

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