To all ambitious go-getters of the world, future entrepreneurs, businesses, and those in search of new professional horizons. I’m John Truong, the Managing Director and Founder of Alliance Compensation & Litigation Lawyers. For over 14 years, I have navigated the complex world of running a business and interviewing numerous job candidates.
But today, we are flipping the script. This article is for you, the candidate. Allow me to share my insights, to guide you through the murky waters of job interviews.
Here are my five best practices, some might even deem controversial, for job candidates interviewing.
1. Understand That It’s Not Just About You
It’s an easy trap to fall into — the belief that an interview is solely about demonstrating your skills and qualifications. However, in my experience, interviews serve a more critical purpose — they allow you to show your potential employers how you can solve their problems.
Too many candidates enter the interview room with the mindset of selling their qualifications, their past accomplishments. This perspective, while not entirely wrong, is limited. Remember, your potential employer is not just interested in what you’ve achieved; they are keen on understanding what you can do for them, moving forward.
2. Leave Your Fear at the Door
Fear. The silent interview assassin. It can rob you of your confidence, cloud your judgment, and hinder your performance. However, shifting your perspective can make a significant difference.
Instead of viewing an interview as an interrogation, consider it an opportunity. A platform where you can discuss your future employer’s challenges and present potential solutions.
Interviewers don’t want to scare you (or at least I don’t); they want you to solve their problems.
And the truth is, showing your eagerness to address their challenges can significantly tilt the odds in your favor.
3. Master the Art of Storytelling
Facts and figures are important, but stories are what truly stick in our minds. Instead of just reciting your accomplishments like a grocery list, try weaving them into a compelling narrative.
This approach has multiple benefits. First, it makes your experiences more relatable and memorable. Second, it showcases your communication skills — a critical aspect employers often look for in potential employees.
The interview is not a test, it’s your stage. Command it, captivate your audience. Make your story resonate with your interviewer by aligning your narrative with the company’s mission and values.
4. Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset
One fundamental truth about businesses is that they exist to make profits. Keeping this in mind, it‘’s beneficial to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset when stepping into an interview. This does not mean overselling your abilities or coming across as arrogant. Rather, consider the role you’re applying for your mini start-up within the company. How can you innovate, enhance productivity, or increase the bottom line?
You’re not just an employee, consider yourself a mini-CEO of your role. This mindset not only helps you stand out in the interview but also sets you up for success once you’re part of the team.
5. Silence is Your Ally, not Your Enemy
Often, interviewees feel compelled to fill every silence. However, embracing these moments of quiet can actually work in your favor. Pausing before answering a question demonstrates thoughtfulness and composure. It shows that you’re not rushing to spit out rehearsed answers, but taking time to provide thoughtful, relevant responses.
Interviewers appreciate silence. It shows you’re not just a fast talker, but a deep thinker. Take a moment to process the question, organize your thoughts, and then respond.
Summing it all up
In conclusion, acing a job interview is not about being the most qualified or the most experienced. It’s about demonstrating your potential value to the company, embracing opportunities, crafting compelling narratives, thinking like an entrepreneur, and understanding the power of thoughtful silence.
These principles are universally applicable, whether you're aiming to be a part of a global corporation or a local start-up, whether you're a seasoned professional looking for a change or a fresh graduate embarking on your first job hunt. Wherever you are in the world, these strategies will help you stand out and make a lasting impression.
So step out and tread boldly in the land of opportunities. Wishing you the very best of luck with your future interviews!