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How to make your next interview your best interview (part deux)

Are you good at thinking on your feet?

Do you hold other people’s attention during a meeting?

Have you been told that you’re a good storyteller?

If so, it’s likely that you will rely on all of these skills in your next interview, but are they enough to make your next interview your best interview?

That’s the question in front of us today.


This is part 2 (of 3) of our interview series.

In the last newsletter, I talked about:

My definitions of humility, confidence and confidently humble.

And

What actions other people see you, a confidently humble leader, take

In this second part, we’re going to look at

What a confidently humble leader sounds like in an interview.


Let’s start with a few assumptions I have:

You already know that confidently communicating your credibility is the goal of an interview.

You already know that the value you deliver can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively.

(Line break)

Interviews feel uncomfortable due to the imbalance of power.

The word interview is derived from the French word “entrevue”, which means ‘to see each other’.

This suggests a mutual exchange or a two-way interaction.

What’s interesting is that this balanced, two-way conversation can be elusive.

Because, in reality, interviews can feel one-sided, with the interviewee being the one primarily observed and evaluated.

The interviewer holds the decision-making power regarding the outcome of the process, while the interviewee is in the position of trying to impress or meet the interviewer’s expectations.

The disconnect between the original meaning and the modern practice of interviews can disrupt the expected symmetry of a typical conversation.


What I hear from leaders and executives is that you don’t want an interview to be a one-way conversation.

·       You don’t want an interrogation

·       You don’t want an extended dissertation from the interviewer about the company and you have very little time to speak

·       You don’t want a “just the facts” style of interview

You do want a bi-directional dialogue,

Otherwise known as a conversation.

You’re ready to rely on those communication and critical-thinking skills.

You want an equal opportunity to be seen, to be entrevued.


If you are a confidently humble leader and you want to your next interview to be your best interview,

I’ll share this secret:

It’s not about you.

Seems counterintuitive, I know.

When you focus on how you look or sound, you will often miss the opportunity make your next interview your best interview.

Admittedly, not focusing on it can be difficult on a video interview (fortunately, Zoom allows you to “hide self view”).

Or, focusing on getting through everything you have to say without noticing if the interviewer is still listening.


Thinking of yourself less during an interview frees up your mind

·       Enter the conversation with curiosity

·       Engage authentically

·       Exit enthusiastically

And, by demonstrating these capabilities during an interview, you will be memorable.

Enter the conversation with curiosity

One of the mistakes individuals make when interviewing is thinking that they can only provide answers.

To borrow from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, “Big Mistake, Huge”

Because

The interviewer is looking at your experience through their lens and you are looking at it through yours.

Entering the conversation with curiosity means you ask questions before, during and after the interviewer asks one.

·       Get clarification on something they said

·       Ask them to share more detail on a particular point of interest for you

Entering with curiosity will allow you to

·       Get more context

·       Demonstrate your emotional intelligence

·       Answer with specifics that are relevant to the interviewer


Engage authentically

Now that you are sitting on the same side of the table, figuratively speaking, you can engage authentically in a bi-directional dialogue.

As part of your preparation, consider that you are not trying to convince them that you are the right person for the job, rather decide that you will approach the conversation to explain and explore.

Explain what you did and how you did it

Explore the specifics of the company and the role

Rather than thinking that they hold all the cards, you are communicating authentically so you can mutually decide if this would be a career move that suits you.

Approaching the conversation from the same side of the table allows you to discuss the role together rather than looking at the interviewer as the problem you need to overcome.


Exit with Enthusiasm

I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t show too much interest in a position so you don’t lose your “purchasing power”.

In my experience, I am always looking for enthusiasm.  This has nothing to do with volume or pleasantries, it’s about communicating your level of interest.

Because

I will go to bat for individuals who have a higher probability of accepting the position.

Remember, when I mentioned the value of being on the same side of the table?

Exiting with enthusiasm keeps you there.

As a confidently humble leader when you exit with enthusiasm, you are reiterating your interest and the impact you can make.

And, a thank you, but you already knew that.

Get out there.

You got this.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss Part 3: raising your credibility during an interview