The job market is demanding today, and your responses in an interview impact whether you are going to land the job, or whether it will go to someone else. The “most qualified” person is not always the person who is given the job. While your work experience is important, your ability to accentuate several key points is critical.
#1: Reinforce that You Get Things Done
During an interview, you might be asked the following: “How do you define work success?” This is a tough question, especially if it catches you by surprise. However, if you plan for it, it can give you a chance to hit the ball out of the park.
Here is a good response to this question:
“I recently worked on a project that had many moving pieces. We were running low on funds, and we were short on resources. I made sure to work with the line managers to get the most qualified people on our team. I informed the managers that this project was critical to the success of the entire organization. By having the right people, and communicating the importance of our project, the project was a success. “
The interviewee is stating that she was able to overcome obstacles and get things done by working with line managers. She communicated the vision to the managers, which speaks positively about her leadership skills. As a candidate for a job, we need to focus on how we can overcome obstacles in a positive way.
#2: Put Teams First
Whether we like it or not, teamwork is very big in companies today. The fact is that work is complex, requiring skilled individuals to work together. An interviewer might ask the following: “Can you describe a situation where you were part of a team? How did it go?”
These are open-ended questions, and you need to put a frame around it. The best approach is to use an example, such as the following:
“I recently worked on an important project for our company. The work effort required resources from different departments, and as the project lead, I needed buy-in from key people in different departments. Before moving forward, I called a meeting with key stakeholders, and we created a plan to satisfy the project objectives. We did this in a collaborative approach. By taking this approach, everyone was clear regarding expectations, and we met our goals.”
By using examples, we make the situation real. Hiring folks want to hear about how you have done something important. The discussion is meaningful when you specify how you made something happen despite obstacles. Make sure that you keep the conversation positive, and avoid blaming anyone. You are hired to get things done, and not to complain.
Successful job candidates need to keep a calm and confident approach. We should avoid canned responses. By having a professional and relaxed approach, we can focus on the message we wish to share. When you are confident that you bring so much to the table, you can expect the interview to go well.