Your Interview Gameplan – Mastering that Interview Opportunity
You are fresh out of school, you have trawled through hundreds of online ads, and you have modified your resume for the thousandth time – all that is left is your one shot at a career: your interview! Interview tips are aplenty online, from TikTok videos on responding to specific questions to a full e-learning course on mastering that interview. As they say, you won’t get a second chance at a first impression!
We wanted to explore what goes into a successful interview. Instead of focussing on the interview, we believe that the pre-interview phase is just as important. How do you usually prepare for an interview? If your preparation is that frantic few days reading up on the organisation you are applying to, you might not be alone!
Today, let us share three specific focus you can keep in mind – as a last-minute tool to prepare for your interview.
Master Your Fundamental “What”
Mastering an interview is more than just style and flash – an all-too-common refrain we hear is that interviews are meant to benefit ‘extroverted’ or ‘energetic’ applicants. To be more accurate, interviewers are seeking memorable applicants – and there is more than one way to be attention-grabbing and long-lasting in your interviewer’s mind.
One area that is often overlooked in interview preparation is your “what”. In short, you need your substance to back up your style or delivery. There are some key areas you can look at in identifying your “what”. Refresh your mind about the fundamental product knowledge or organisational knowledge that you may need. You may have all of these in mind, but when the high-stress situation kicks in, they may just escape your mind’s grasp. Go beyond expertise-related points and complement with credible and detailed experiences that can show your interviewer your expertise in action.
Show Your Clear “How”
Having mastered your underlying knowledge, the next step is to arrange your action plan for the interviewer. Putting ourselves in the interviewer’s shoes, sitting through countless interviews may make it difficult to sieve out the best applicant. Make your interviewer’s task easier by setting out a memorable and clear action plan for your role in the company or organisation.
We are referring to your “how” as your action plan – this can be achieved even before the interview starts. For instance, think about how your career plan will pan out in a specific organisation – what benefit will that bring to the company? In sharing your game plan, you can set out your future trajectory, the solutions you are likely to offer, and the specific benefit the company or organisation is likely to receive. As you explore, you will soon realise that there are many things about the company/organisation you need to read before your interview!
Plan Your Big “Why”
Finally, the big “why” – you may have seen this bandied around in other interview guides. It may be a tad difficult to understand this “why” and how it can contribute to your interview success. We like to think of the “why” as the driving force that pushes or guides us. To the interviewer, an applicant with a clear “why” appears as someone who is driven, motivated, and anchored by sound beliefs and values. If these beliefs or values align with the company/organisation, your prospective employers are more likely to want you on the team!
Here are some guiding questions to help you in planning your “why” as you prepare for the interview:
- Use a time factor: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years in the company/organisation? What is the timeframe for your proposed solution?
- Use a change factor: What skills are you hoping to develop in the long run? How will these change in skills (e.g., management style) help the company/organisation?
- Use a solution factor: What problems are you interested in solving? How will you go about resolving difficult situations or problems?
This is just a sample of some of the questions you can ask yourself as you craft your “why” in preparation for your big interview!
Ace that Interview!
Preparing for an interview is more than just reading a company website or an organisation prospectus. Instead, the preparation phase can be approached systematically to ensure that you have the tools you need for a successful interview – even if this was the last minute preparation! The next time you have that job opportunity coming up, why not try our three-focus framework to guide your preparation?
To supplement your interview skills training process, WATCH how you can sound natural and charismatic without sounding ‘fake’:
By The Way…
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