6 Job Interview Facts Every Student Should Know
When it comes to job interview facts, it is never too early for a student to start learning. The job market ahead promises to be a tough one as more companies decide to utilize the power of telecommuting and hire candidates from a global pool instead of state or national. Not only will you have to be ready with your knowledge and skill set, but you’ll also need to prepare for the psychology behind the job interviewer. That means knowing these six facts about your job interviewer and harnessing these revelations while preparing for the big day. Good luck as you get the applications out there and start scheduling appointments!
One: Every Job Interviewer Wants To See You’ve Done Your Research
A job interview isn’t something that you simply show up for and hope they ask you easy questions. If you want any shot at getting a job — and we’re talking a professional position, not a job that pretty much anyone can do — then you’ll want to do the necessary legwork in learning about the company and the position for which you’re interviewing. There are a few things you can do to improve your knowledge base.
First of all, at the time the interview is scheduled, ask a little bit about the position. Questions like these:
Is there any additional information about the position on your website? Some kind of overview that I can see to understand how the position works with other departments to improve the whole of the company’s operations?
What is the exact job title for which I will be interviewing? (If you don’t already know.)
What are some of the most valuable resources available for learning more about the company?
Additionally, you may want to run a few web searches for the job title and the company itself in order to get a sense of what issues and challenges might lay ahead. This is also an invaluable technique for asking intelligent and thought-provoking questions when your interviewer inevitably asks if you have any questions that you’d like to ask.
NOTE: If you say, “No,” then you’ve just shot yourself in the foot. An interviewer wants you to ask quality questions. It shows you’re engaged and that you actually care about the position.
Two: Every Job Interviewer Wants To Feel Like You’re Not Driven By Money
Money is an unspoken motivator that every job interviewer understands. When you actually express that you’re all about the money, that demonstrates you may not want the job for the right reasons. And if you don’t want the job for the right reasons, then you probably won’t be a good asset to the company. By keeping the conversation focused on the job itself — what you hope to learn from it, what you hope to accomplish, etc. — you stand a much better chance of making the shortlist for hiring.
Three: Every Job Interviewer Wants To Know Your Greatest Weakness
Do yourself a favor and prepare for this question. Even if it doesn’t get asked — it usually does — prepping will enable you to answer without sounding like you’ve been caught off-guard. While it can be a tricky thing to address, there are a couple of techniques that can set you apart from the rest of the applicants.
For starters, you may choose a weakness that doesn’t really factor in to the duties of the position. Also, telling a story about a time that you corrected an error in judgment or action is good advice. Lastly, stepping into the shoes of the interviewer and asking yourself, “What answers this guy gives me, would instantly cause me to filter him out of the position?” Once you can pinpoint those negatives, it’s easier to fashion an answer that keeps you from falling into “that group.”
While we’ve always thought this is a BS question not designed to get a straight answer, but instead designed to see how well you can talk around it, no one can fault you for being less than forthright. At the same time, you’ve got to come across as genuine, whatever answer you end up using, and that’s no easy task without some advanced preparation.
Four: Every Job Interviewer Wants To Know Your Strengths
As surely as an interviewer wants to know your weaknesses, he’ll also want to know the things you do well. But here’s what makes this a bit of a trick question: it may or may not get asked during the interview. Regardless, it isn’t a single question that you can answer and forget. Essentially, you will be “answering” it the entire time through your body language, your desire for the position, your research into what it entails, the questions you ask, and how you answer everything they throw at you during the interview.
Your greatest strength, essentially, is you, and it’s important that you show you’ll be an asset to the company and the right person for the position from the time you arrive until you finally hear, one way or another, whether you got the job.
Five: Every Job Interviewer Wonders How Your Knowledge, Skills And Work Ethic Connect With The Company As A Whole
If there is a disconnect between your education, work experience, and the actual position, it will be tough convincing the job interviewer to give you the go-ahead. Make sure you can show them that you have a right to be sitting in the room and discussing the possibility of employment. If you’re unable to do that, they’ll probably move on to the next applicant.
Six: Every Job Interviewer Wants To See How You Conduct Yourself After The Interview
Don’t think you’re home-free simply because you aced the job interview. How you behave after it, is absolutely important. Job interviewers want to see that you can be patient, professional, and positive through the end of the process.
They don’t set out to make you wait on a response, but considering that you’re probably in competition with dozens if not hundreds of other applicants, you shouldn’t expect an immediate answer. Following up is fine, and even expected, but how you do it can make or break you.
Make sure you do so in a way that is firm, but non-intrusive. Be respectful of their time, but assertive in seeing where things are. If you have a personal email address for the interviewer, use it. Be pleasant but direct and to the point. That looks something like this:
Dear Interviewer (use real name):
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me about the <name of the position> on <date of interview>. I enjoyed learning more about the company and the duties of the position, and hope I can be of service to you in the future.
I wanted to follow up and see if there has been any movement on hiring and to reaffirm my interest in the position. Have a great week. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
If you place a follow-up phone call, use the same approach. Be pleasant, direct, and respectful.
Knowing these job interview facts ahead of time will certainly give you an advantage over the other applicants. While it may not land you the job — after all, depending on where you apply, there could be some pretty stiff competition — but it will give you solid training with some invaluable interview techniques and behaviors. Eventually, that experience will pay off.
[Image via CollegeGrad.com]