Are Your Interview Skills in Tune with the Times?

Guidelines to help you prepare for a major shift in the interviewing process.

Use storytelling to convince an interviewer that you’re the perfect person for the job.

“Why are you the ideal candidate for this position?” In the past, when asked this question, you were expected to simply regurgitate your resume. You proved you had the necessary ability by referring back to prior roles. However, showing that you’re experienced is no longer enough. Now, you need to provide a detailed account of relevant experiences you’ve encountered in your career and how they relate to your skills. In other words, you need to show real-life problem-solving in action—which is probably the most valuable interviewing skill. How do you do this?

Before an interview, think about the skills you want to showcase and prepare an example of how you’ve put these skills to use. For instance, if you’re a chief information officer and you want to display your technical ability, talk about your former company’s out-of-date point-of-service system and how you devised an innovative solution to speed checkout and increase profits.

Use this same approach for each skill you want to highlight. Remember to:

  1. Lay out the problem you faced;
  2. Explain your solution; and
  3. Discuss the results.

While doing this, take the interviewer into your world. Paint a vivid picture. In other words, “show, don’t tell” that you’re the ideal person for the job.

Show that you’d fit into the company culture.

Having the technical skills to do the job is just the price of entry. What really determines whether you’ll get the offer is fit. An interviewer gauges this by listening not only to what is said, but also to the way it’s said. Being articulate shows you’re credible and aren’t making things up as you go along. Speaking passionately shows you’re discussing concepts you’ve spent time pondering. Asking thoughtful questions means you’re naturally curious and a good listener who takes others’ views into consideration.

In the end, all interviewing boils down to one simple query, whether it’s asked overtly or simply implied: “Will this person make the company a better place?” Show that the answer is yes, and you’ll ensure that you’re the one who gets the nod.

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