To have a successful job interview, you need to adopt an employer's perspective. This is how to do it.
Ah, job interviews. That nerve-racking, anxious feeling can make even the most experienced professional feel like they're playing a guessing game. But, what if you could look through the eyes of the employer during an interview and give them top-notch answers?
The truth is, there are certain tactics you can use to help you think like the employer and give them answers they want to hear. In this article, I’ll share with you 6 ways to think like an employer for a successful job interview.
By understanding the perspective of the interviewer, and why they ask certain questions, your chances of having a successful job interview will drastically increase; so if you're aspiring for that dream job or promotion, read on.
1. Research the employer and job
Start by reading up on the company: what they do, who they work with, their mission and values. Think of questions that you can ask during the interview that show your familiarity with the business and its goals. For example, if the job opening is for a project coordinator at a digital marketing agency, chances are that you’ll have great success if you demonstrate your knowledge about this kind of work.
Next, get familiar with the position itself. Focus on what sets your skill set apart from other applicants and pinpoint how those skills will make a difference for this specific role in this specific company. Show that you can provide value and contribute know-how; don’t just regurgitate a list of experiences from your resume.
As an added bonus, use what you learn while researching to guide your preparation. Anticipate questions they may ask or come up with an organized list of points so you can stay on topic during the conversation.
2. Understand employer needs
The key to employers' hearts is understanding their needs and expectations for the role, and showing them that you can meet those needs.
Knowing what the employer is looking for from the get-go can give you an edge in your job interview. Start by researching the company, the job description and any other relevant information that will help you build a deep understanding of what they need from their new hire.
A clear understanding of the job requirements and how you match these skills and experiences
An appreciation of the current challenges faced by the employer's industry or sector
An insight into how your skills can contribute to meeting such challenges
A thought-out answer to why their business should hire you over another candidate.
By taking an "employer's eye view" into your preparation for an interview, you'll be showing that you understand their needs and are able to provide solutions - qualities that employers look for in potential hires.
3. Deliver solutions to problems
When it comes to thinking like an employer, you need to be prepared to show them how you can be a problem solver. Employers don't just want someone that can talk about the job—they want to know that you're someone that can provide solutions.
That means, when you're in a job interview, don't just talk about the skills and experiences you have. Try and paint a bigger picture. Show how those experiences have helped you become better at problem-solving and how the solutions you offer can benefit the company.
To do this, prepare ready-to-go examples of times when you've used your problem-solving skills effectively in previous positions. Be sure to mention any awards or recognitions that may have come from these solutions as well. Showing off your problem-solving skills will make it easier for recruiters and employers to imagine how great of an asset you could be for their team.
4. Showcase relevant success stories
One way to think like an employer during a job interview is to have some relevant success stories up your sleeve. Think about tasks you've taken on in the past—especially ones that are similar to the job you're interviewing for—and be prepared to share every detail of how you completed them.
Think about what made your successes stand out. It could have been a challenge that you faced or an innovative solution that you found. Whatever it was, make sure to include it in your narrative. This will show the employer that not only did you get the task done successfully, but that you also used your initiative and problem-solving skills in a relevant situation.
You can also use success stories from any previous projects or jobs, even if they’re not 100% related to the current role you’re applying for. It’s important to show employers that you have experience and can handle responsibility, no matter what role it was in.
Don't forget to also include details of any team projects where you took on a leadership role. This shows employers that not only can you do the job, but that you have the skills to manage other people too.
5. Ask questions to engage the employer
Asking questions is an important part of any job interview. It is your opportunity to demonstrate that you are passionate about the job and the company and that you want to be part of their team.
When asking questions, make sure to think from the employer’s perspective – what will they most likely be interested in hearing? Get creative and come up with unique questions that will show the employer that you understand their needs and you have done your research on their company. This is also a great time to ask any questions that may be important for you before accepting a job offer – such as salary, benefits, or vacation time.
6. Tailor your story to the role
Your success in an interview depends on how much you know about the role and how well you can relate it to your experience. To make sure you're up to par, do your research, and understand every aspect of the job. Then tailor your story to the job description.
Show you fit the part
Focus on what experience, skills or values make you stand out as a match for this particular role. Showcase not just what you bring to the table, but also why it’s relevant in this instance. Make sure you can convince them that you’re the right candidate for the position and that they needn’t look any further. Then they won’t have any reason not to hire you.
Give examples of your successes
When relating how your past experiences fit into this job role, back it up with real examples that demonstrate your successes. Relate situations that showcase how successful projects or businesses grew because of your efforts, or how clients were satisfied by your attention to detail. This kind of proof will show employers why you're a great fit for their team and encourage them to make an offer.
In the end, it’s a two-way street when it comes to a successful job interview. Sure, you’re in control, but the employer also needs to be impressed enough to give you the job. By taking the time to think like the employer, understanding their point of view, and highlighting specific skills and experiences, you can make sure you give yourself the best chance to make a great impression and ultimately land the job.