Updated: Sep 10
The role of job candidate is one you don’t play every day, so it is a role that requires practice.
After all, you are given around one to six hours (depending on the company’s interview structure), to introduce yourself to the company and to make sure the company fits your career aspiration; ultimately hoping to get a job offer.
There are several areas you’ve been coached on to put our best foot forward, for example:
make sure to shake hands firmly
make sure to have questions ready to ask the hiring manager
follow up with thank you notes
These are important, but they are only part of the process.
The most important role you (the job candidate) have, is to evaluate if the role and the company are a fit for them. Simultaneously, you need to listen and show the interview team how you fit into the company culture.
As a recruiter, I have worked with candidates that are not looking to make a change in their career, as well as job candidates that are getting frustrated because they want to get back to work after a layoff, and individuals in different places in their career.
Here are some things to think about, no matter what category you are in:
Companies have evaluated your resume and determined you have the skills needed before you were invited in.
They are now looking to validate those skills through conversation and to see if you fit in the team; and by fit, I mean cultural fit.
So, what traits do companies look at?
Three traits that are consistently published as the main attributes’ employers are looking for are:
Energy level-specifically high energy
How do you set the stage showing you have these traits and not show job interview weekness?
1. The best way is to walk into a room ready to shake hands with each hiring team member. Extend your hand immediately.
2. Make sure you are dressed professionally in something you feel comfortable in. If you like what you are wearing, you will feel confident.
3. Be completely prepared. Know who you are going to meet and do research on each person, the company, and learn everything you can about the area of business the hiring team is involved in. This knowledge will help you to have the foundation to assess the culture of the company and the traits of the team.
4. Practice! When I coach a candidate for an interview with a client, I tell them to build their toolbox of successes and challenges. If you are preparing without a coach it is best to mentally prepare.
Interview yourself. You need to prepare for any interview questions you might be asked and you need to visualize how the interview may be conducted.
Ask yourself questions that you think you will hear and answer them the way you would in the interview.
Do this in front of a mirror. This feels unnatural, but in many cases so does a job interview. This will create a simulated environment.
Do this until you feel confident and prepared for any question that you think will be asked.
5. Self-evaluate your confidence.
Ask yourself what is motivating you to look at this role.
Determine how you feel about the role and what it will feel like when you get an offer.
However, if you hear that you are telling yourself you are not sure you are qualified for the job, you wonder why you got invited or surely there is someone they will pick over you; then you have to evaluate why you are self-talking in a negative way.
Unfortunately, this will come across in the interview, because it is in your subconscious mind. This is usually our mind’s way of protecting us, just in case you are not offered the position. We can say to ourselves “I knew it” and revert back to what we told ourselves earlier. If you are negatively talking to yourself, then it is a good time to plot on paper what you like about the role.
6. Write down what you bring to the party that qualifies you. Even if you don’t have all the skills necessary, but you know you can do the job, then you need to focus on what you do bring to the party. This will help you answer the question, about those skills, when you are asked. This is great information to reflect on as you prepare to meet the hiring team.
With these things in place you will have a greater opportunity to show you are a fit for the role or to learn the role is not for you. This will also help you show confidence immediately.
Overall, these steps will give you the opportunity to worry less about the way to answer questions, create more time to evaluate the company’s culture, and allow the company to learn more about how you will impact the company if invited to the team.
TLR Search helps energy and chemical company hiring managers gain talent market share by bringing strong diverse talent to their door, while inspiring potential new team members to picture their future possibilities; especially with hard to fill positions. We are people experts with a specialization in energy and chemicals. We’re a woman-owned recruitment firm that partners with clients to assist them in placing decision-makers at executive levels, supervisors in functional management positions, and experienced professionals in technical roles.