Job Interview Fundamentals

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Interviewing

job search IT cartoon 3In a prior post, we talked about the importance of effectively communicating your personal brand message during an interview (Personal Branding and the Interview: Closing the Loop). This post, however, focuses on some of the fundamentals of an interview that people can’t seem to grasp. If they do, they simply have a difficult time putting the skills into practice.

The Basics

The purpose of the interview for most employers is generally two-fold.

  1. Employers want to confirm that the person they meet matches the one depicted in the resume.
  2. Employers want to get a glimpse into the personality, communication skills, confidence, character, and other traits beyond a candidate’s experience and education (i.e., things not evident in a resume).

Every question an interviewer asks will help shed light on the latter. Questions targeted to a candidate’s experience and achievements are meant to identify back-tracking or hedging. When a candidate back-pedals regarding information in the resume, the interviewer takes that as a sign that it didn’t really happen or that the candidate’s contribution was embellished.

Interview Signals

I mentioned that every response a candidate provides offers a glimpse into their personality, character, etc. Many factors contribute to how the interviewer receives the candidate: favorably or unfavorably. Candidates can prepare for interviews and work on how they will be perceived. Some of the key factors include:

  • Attire
  • Posture
  • Eye Contact
  • Tone of Voice
  • Vocal Clarity
  • Body Language (including nervous habits, arm/hand motions, etc.)
  • Length of Responses

The ITtechExec Way

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