It is hard enough to keep yourself calm during an interview, let alone try to figure out what's going on in the mind of the interviewer sitting across from you. However, with so many other candidates fighting for the job aside from you, it's not enough to simply keep your composure. If you really want to have a chance, you have to understand what the interviewer is looking for – and then give that to them.
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As a recruiter, I can help you with this. Here are the four main questions looming in the mind of every interviewer:
1. Do You Fit the Company Culture?
The interviewer is trying to envision you working at the company. They're wondering if you'll vibe with the current team and fit in with the organizational culture.
To show the interviewer you'll fit in, you need to first identify the type of environment you'll be working in. One method of doing so is by arriving early on the day of the interview to get a feeling for the office atmosphere. Is the place buzzing with noise and excitement, or is it a more relaxed environment where everyone is focused on their individual responsibilities?
To take it a step further, see if you can approach someone who works there to ask about the culture and environment. Chances are, they'll be glad to help you.
Armed with your new insights into the company culture, you can present yourself to the interviewer in a light that proves you'll fit right in.
2. Is This the Real You?
On interview day, every candidate shows up as their most enthusiastic and upbeat self. However, the interviewer is going to want to know whether that energy will persist after you've been hired. The interviewer will try to discern who among the candidates is being authentic and who is simply putting on a show.
Interview questions such as "Why do you want this job?" and "What makes you interested in this particular field?" are designed to uncover how enthusiastic candidates will be if they get the job. Make sure you are prepared to tackle these exact types of questions, as your responses to them can make or break your shot at the job.
Many candidates act differently during interviews than they normally behave, but it's easy for seasoned hiring managers to spot this deception. If you actually are a hard-working and motivated individual, the best way to show it is by simply being yourself. Ask the questions that come to your mind in the heat of the moment instead of relying on the ones you prepared at home. Talk about why you're really interested in the job at hand instead of making up a story that is not completely true. Dropping the act will help tremendously, as you won't have to worry about being someone you're not.
3. Do You Live Up to Your Resume?
If you've made it this far in the hiring process, your interviewer already thinks you're qualified for the position. Now, you simply need to live up to the expectations set by your resume.
It can be tempting to try during the interview to show off more of what you've accomplished beyond what is already on your resume. However, this often ends up actually hurting you. Instead, you should be elaborating on the experiences already mentioned. The interviewer will be impressed if you simply show that you are who your resume says you are.
4. Does Your Personality Fit the Job Requirements?
You should already have an idea about what the nature of your work will be from reading the job description. Your task is to piece together all the information you've gathered about the workplace and the role to present yourself in a way that fits the job requirements. If the job revolves around team-oriented tasks, then market yourself to the interviewer as a team player by highlighting your past experiences that showcase this aspect of yourself. On the other hand, if the job requires high levels of concentration and precision, talk about some of your accomplishments that demonstrate your attention to detail.
Remember, every job is different. By identifying exactly what the job entails and what your interviewer is looking for, you'll be able to market yourself accordingly and position yourself as a great fit for the job.
Peter Yang is the cofounder of ResumeGo.