An interview begins immediately you shut that door behind you, with the panels’ eyes all on you trying to figure out what you are all about.
It is misleading how we think employers only look for specific qualifications, traits or attributes when recruiting as we keenly read through the job descriptions. Employers expect you to read in between the lines and understand what that particular role entails and what will be expected of you. This varies from one role to the other not only in terms of the required hard skills (technical) but also soft skills. We are going to elaborate more on the later since they happen to be as equally important as technical skills.
An interview begins immediately you shut that door behind you, with the panels’ eyes all on you trying to figure out what you are all about. It’s debatable that this is the easiest stage of the interview; you have been compared to the rest of the applicants who had applied and was shortlisted. This implies the employer was convinced enough by your academic achievements and experience as indicated on paper and now wants to meet you in person; therefore, your personal attributes (made of soft skills) are more under the scope here. You might be exceptional on paper but hard to get along with, unmotivated or not transparent; these are the red flags they look for.
It’s pretty much old news that communication is both verbal and non-verbal but enough can’t be said about on how the stories you tell best illustrate your qualities. How good can you illustrate your achievements, strengths and weaknesses as you talk about your previous experiences? Open ended questions are meant to evaluate your communication skills and determine how you will communicate with others on the job. However, be careful with how you respond because it’s easy to tell certain types of attitude by just listening.
Sense of direction/ Goal-oriented
Is the role you are persuing pay-cheque motivated or do you see it as a challenge bound to bring you fulfilment. Employers sought after self driven and motivated individuals, guys who know what what they are after and are willing to get their hands dirty for it. You should therefore be able to describe your career path in relation to the role you are interviewing for from your first job up to the present as well as your career goals.
Part of getting ready for an interview is researching about the company; the easy part. But during the interview, what can you gather about the nature of business of the company? How fast can you synthesize that information and ask thoughtful questions? Inquisitiveness shows the desire to learn, identify and diagnose existing organizational problems.
Are you a team player?
As much corporate culture varies from one company to another, there’s one common denominator- ‘team player’. You will definitely be on the safer side if you can illustrate your adaptability and collaborativeness. You will be expected to work independently as well within a team; this demands that your interpersonal skills be on point
‘Ability to think out of the box’- so you say; but are you able to apply your skills to different situations and solve problems with ease? This is also a plus in terms of showing an employer your self- reliance rather than him/her hiring someone who will always need hand- holding.
Unlike core skills, you can’t be trained on soft skills but you can practise, practise, practise.