What Employers Are Looking For During The Interview Process
Interviewing can be difficult, but when you know what employers are looking for the task suddenly becomes manageable. Interviewing well is not just about experience, the ability to do the job, or the skills and education you have acquired it’s also about your ability to sell yourself to your prospective employer.
While every employer has specific things that they are looking for in the way of past experience and education, almost all of them look for similar things in the people that they interview. If you know what you should be emphasizing during an interview you’ll feel more confident and you’ll be more likely to get the jobs you want!
First, you must know if you are qualified for the position that you are interviewing for. There is nothing more embarrassing than going to an interview and spending your time with someone only to be told that you don’t meet the minimum requirements for the job. Only apply for jobs that you know you can qualify for in the way of education and experience and remember that the two are not always interchangeable for some employers. If a job listing says that a Masters degree is necessary, you shouldn’t attempt to apply for the job if you do not have that degree. But, if an ad says that a Masters degree is recommended and you know that you don’t have the degree but you have experience that will replace the formal education, you can apply with some amount of confidence. You need to be sure that you pay attention to detail when applying for jobs to save you the time and the stress, not to mention the embarrassment, of applying for jobs that you do not qualify for.
Next, you need to know how to write a good resume. Employers understand that not everyone has resume writing talents, but a good resume is a good way to catch the eye of a potential employer. It’s often a resume that gets you an interview, so make sure not to overlook this important detail. If you already have an interview scheduled, you should still make sure that you have a nice looking resume as it’s a good idea to bring a copy of your resume along with you in case the employer has misplaced the last copy of the resume you sent him or her.
Know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Employers like to hire people that know where they stand within their field. What are you really good at, and what do you think you can work on to become even better? Make sure that you can look at these things and decide how your strengths will benefit the company you are interviewing with and how you think you can work on your opportunity areas within that company. Many people make the mistake of only talking up the positive, but employers like to see versatility, honesty, as well as your ability to help the company grow and the ability of the company to help you grow.
Employers are often looking for individuals that can communicate well. Communication is an important asset to all companies that have more than one or two employees otherwise things just won’t get done. Play up your ability to communicate with other employers, supervisors, and clients. Also, mention that you have the ability to be a team player as well as set individual goals for yourself. Employers like to hire people that can do both because it creates a balance in the workplace so things get done in the most efficient manner.
Don’t talk down past employers when you interview. Most employers like to speak with people that seem to take each situation and draw something positive from it. If a job is listed on your resume, you can assume that someone will ask you what you learned while you were there, why you left, and how you enjoyed your time. You don’t have to lie about a bad experience, but remember to accentuate the positive experiences you had. Negativity will usually detract from your attractiveness to a prospective employer.
Employers are looking for people who can come to work with a good attitude as well as employees that will arrive for work on time. The best way to prove this to your prospective employer is to arrive early for your interview. Just fifteen minutes is plenty of time, but showing up on time and appearing eager and ready for the interview will set a good tone for your future working relationship. Those that are late for their interviews give the impression that they are not ready to work and will be less likely to be hired. Every employee is a liability of sorts for the employer, so it’s understandable why employers would want someone that starts out on the right foot by showing up on time.
The bottom line is that employers are looking for dependable people no matter what field you may be interviewing in. You first impression will mean a lot, so show up on time, be well groomed, put together a well-written resume, and put some effort and enthusiasm into each interview you attend.
Your education and experience are important, but you really need to know how to talk to people. Really think about what your assets are and how you will be able to contribute to a company. An interview is much like selling yourself and your experience; so don’t get too comfortable until you are sure that the job is yours!
Remember that the interview process can be stressful, but when you know what employers are looking for you can concentrate on a good personality, being on time, education, experience, a well-written resume, and being able to sell yourself to make the process easier. Knowing where to focus will allow you to devise a method of organization and success for the interview process so you can get the jobs that you want and not bother to apply for the jobs you don’t want!