You Can Only Do So Much In A Job Interview

Job interviews are strange in many respects.  Both for you as the candidate and for the hiring manager.

If you are called for interview you are probably pretty excited about the opportunity.

You know that you are a serious contender for the job.

Of course there’s still a lot to do to go from serious contender to the person who gets offered the job.

Sadly rejections and disappointments are part and parcel of job search.

At the same time being rejected for a role doesn’t mean the end of the line.

There are going to be other opportunities where you may well be the ideal person.

Whenever you go into a job interview it’s really important to have the right perspective.

There is plenty you can do to increase the chances of you being offered the role.

Equally there are things outside of your control.

What You Can Do In Job Interview

There are several things that you can do that will help you in the job interview.

A key thing you can do ahead of a job interview is to make sure that you are really well prepared.

For me that means investing a significant amount of time on your preparation.

So often I see candidates going into job interviews way under prepared.

If you are an accountant or professional, hiring you is a significant investment decision.

By being well prepared you perform well and show the hiring manager that you understand that it’s a big investment.

Another key thing that you can do is to handle the initial job interview question really well.

I wish it wasn’t the case but what I see happening all too often is that a candidate gets off to a poor start and the hiring manager discounts them almost immediately.

It shouldn’t be like that and sadly it’s more common than you might think.

You can also make sure that you answer the question asked.

I’m all for candidates preparing a list of questions and answers.

At the same time you have to deal with the questions asked not answer the question you wished you had been asked.

You can also make sure that you ask good questions.

Not necessarily those that everyone asks.

Instead think about questions that will help you decide whether a role and the organisation is the right one for you or not.

What You Can’t Do in A Job Interview

While there is plenty you can do, there is also things that you can’t do.

You can’t magic up experience that you don’t have.

Sometimes you have to say that I don’t have experience but I do have knowledge.

You can’t influence how anyone else performs.

So don’t waste energy worrying about others.  Focus on your own uniqueness.

You can’t change bias in the process.

Good interviewers will try to make sure there is objectivity in the process.

They might for example use the same questions with every candidate.

They might set up a panel so that there is a more rounded view of candidates.

But ultimately it’s difficult to completely eliminate bias in the process.

You can’t overcome the fact that someone might just be a better fit

Candidates sometimes think that when they get told this in feedback that it is just a cop out on the part of the hiring manager.

It’s not.  The hiring manager knows the organisational culture.  The hiring manager knows the team you will be joining.

They have to do their best to try and ensure there is a good fit.

The Bottom Line:  There’s plenty you can do to increase your chances of getting the job offer.  Equally there are things that you can’t do so accept this.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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