How important do you think your job interview is? There's a reason that the saying “you only have one time to make a first impression” exists. The job interview is that real first impression (we could talk about resumes, but that's for another day). For the past couple years, I've been able to assist with my alma-mater in helping conduct mock interviews with their business students. While some students come across as determined and polished, others needed help – and A LOT of it.
The following is a guest post from Ron Haynes, editor of The Wisdom Journal and author of a new eBook, The Inner View of Your Interview, exposing the motivations behind today’s top 100 job interview questions. Ron has been interviewing people for various positions for over two decades and uses his new eBook to give job seekers an insider’s peek into the mind of an interviewer. Whether you a soon to be college graduate starting your career or someone looking for a career change, this is good resource for honing in an your interview skills. Introducing Ron…..
One of the key fundamentals espoused in the book is that job seekers must thoroughly research each individual company they’re planning to interview and adapt their answers to that knowledge. It makes no sense to trumpet your administrative abilities if the company needs a top notch sales person, neither does it work to your advantage to focus on your purchasing skills when the company needs an accountant.
The best way to ensure you’re the top candidate is to know the company’s greatest needs and answer each job interview question in such a way that your skills, abilities, and education highlight your unique ability to meet those needs.
In today’s job marketplace, many employers have a fear that key employees will strike out on their own and interviewers are willing to ask about it. If you find yourself facing Question #83, you’ll be glad you performed your own due diligence because your answer could make or break your interview.
Answer YES excitedly and a large company will see you as a fire-brand. On the other side of the coin, a small company may fear you'll strike out on your own, taking their customers and trade secrets. Answer no and you could come across as a security minded dullard who never had a dream.
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WORST ANSWER: “Yes” or “no” can sink your candidacy. The last thing you want to project is an image of either a dreamer who failed and is now settling for the corporate safety net … or a restless maverick that will secretly sneak out the door with key accounts, contacts, and trade secrets under his arms just as soon as he can find the capital to fund his own start-up.
BEST ANSWER: The best answer can only be crafted after you've done your homework. You simply MUST know and understand the company culture. Remember, you CAN be honest, but you don't have to tell the interviewer everything you've ever done or thought about concerning any entrepreneurial bent you may have. In either case, no matter what the company culture, if you truly want this position, be sure to indicate that any desires about running your own show are part of your past, not your present or future.
If the company is large or highly structured:
Example: “I've thought about it a few times, dreamed about it really (who hasn't), but most of my career successes have been within a corporate structure like yours. That's where I excel and where I can make my biggest and best contribution.
If the company is small or free-spirited:
Example: “I believe, at this company, I can enjoy the best of both worlds. Here, I believe I would get the excitement of seeing ideas and plans take shape and combined with the resources and stability of a well-established organization, it sounds like the perfect environment for long-term success.”
Either way, match what you want with what the position offers. The more information you've discovered about the position and the company, the more believable your case.