The Job Interview: Purpose
There are actually two different purposes for an interview: there is the employer’s purpose for the interview and there’s your purpose for the interview.
The First Purpose – The Employer’s
The employer’s purpose for the interview is to sort out candidates through a series of questions and tests to identify the best candidate based on skills, experience, and the best fit for the team and the company culture.
The Second Purpose – Yours
Your purpose for the interview is more complex.
You want to use this time to build rapport with the interviewers so that you stand out from your competition. Leave them with the distinct impression that they want to work with you and need you for their business.
From the interview process you want to affirm the problem the company is looking to solve by hiring the person. With the current economic climate, companies are not hiring people without having a driving reason to do so. You need to find out that driving reason, the pain point they have and are trying to solve. Don’t assume that purpose is obvious from the job description since the job description may have been written by someone other than the hiring manager (like someone in human resources).
You need to understand what they believe makes a successful candidate. What traits do they value? What experience are they seeking? What abilities will make the candidate the right fit? What prior accomplishments will convince them you can do the job?
You want to share your previous accomplishments that support why the company will benefit by hiring you. You want to use your prior performance is an indication of your future performance.
You also want to understand the hiring process and the next steps.
Understand the two different purposes, the employer’s and yours, so you don’t miss the point of the interview.
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