The interview: Seize your opportunity

At least once — probably more — during your working years, you’ll go for a job interview. Maybe you’ll be the interviewer. Either way, you need to be ready for surprises — and there will be surprises.

Prepare for an interview by being well versed in the organization. Know its vision and mission. Check out its corporate culture. Ideally, talk with someone who’s there or been there. If not there now, why did the person leave?

If an interviewer, be familiar with the applicant’s resume to see if there’s a good fit. Google the person to see what pops up on social media or elsewhere online. Prepare questions that get to how well the person aligns with corporate culture.

There are important points to remember while interviewing.

For both interviewer and applicant, be aware of body language. That conveys more than 90 percent of communication. Practice in front of mirrors and better yet with friends who will honestly tell you how you come across.


What are effective strategies for participating via video?

Before a Skype interview, check out your lighting, sound and camera angle. Do a dry run and play back to see how you come off. Then adjust. Otherwise, prepare the same as face to face with proper dress, attitude and body language.

There are common pitfalls that come from poor interview preparation.

Lack of preparation comes through when you give dumb answers or ask dumb — yes dumb — questions such as, “What do you do here?” It’s OK not to know everything, but at least show you had the interest and courtesy to get acquainted.

Core values

Show your core values with respect and courtesy. Listen attentively and answer the question asked, not the answer you prepared regardless. Show your interest, and don’t be fake. Value the time you and the other person spend together.

Answer questions, ask questions, but most of all have a conversation. Both interviewee and interviewer need assurance that both parties are a good fit for the company and its culture for many years to come.

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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