How to perform well in an interview: focus on the company’s needs

Contrary to popular thought, the key to doing well in an interview is not self-promotion, but informing the recruiters what skills you can provide the company based on your past experience. 

If you're a job seeker getting anxious about your next interview, take a look at these three steps: 

1) Read about the company and the skills required

First, read about the company. This is the best preparation you can do. The esteemed career strategist John Lees writes in his book "Top Answers to Tough Questions" about how you should really focus on reading the job description to match up what skills you have with those that are required for the job.

Read the job description and figure out what it is they want. Market yourself as the solution. Read the job description and figure out what skills they're looking for. 

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz is another influential thinker in the field of recruitment and has conducted 20,000 interviews in his lifetime. Fernández-Aráoz tells people going for interviews to delve into:

  • how the business is organised
  • the company culture
  • the interviewer's background
  • and relevant industry trends. 

Fernández-Aráoz also suggests identifying the major obstacles that come with the specific job you're going for. That way, you can market yourself even more as part of the solution.

2) Give examples of how you've shown those skills in the past

When screening, recruiters want to hear one thing: what you can do for them.

Businesses want to hear what you can do for them.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach who has worked for American Express, McKinsey, and other leading firms, writes that providing specific examples of times that you have put your skills into action is essential. She suggests planning out your answers in advance. Ceniza-Levin also advises being as specific as possible to prove how you've provided a substantive and measurable contribution.

3) If you don't have exact skills, communicate your potential 

Fernández-Aráoz says that "no candidate will ever be perfect, and you will be no exception." This is important to remember.

Employers often appreciate honesty about shortcomings and candidates with awareness of what areas they need to improve on. You can show that you are an adaptable person by using the same method outlined in step two. Provide a detailed example of a time you rose to the occasion and adapted to a new situation.  

To get more advice like this on effective interviewing strategies, contact Flexi Personnel's Recruitment Consultants today.