It goes without saying that the job interview is super important. (Did you see how I underlined, italicized, and bolded “super”?)
The invitation to interview is the company’s way of saying:
“We think you have potential here. We’ll invest the 15-30 minutes in our busy day to talk to you and see if there’s a fit between what we need and what you do. And, oh yeah, we also want to make sure that we’ll like you and that you’ll fit into our organizational culture and team.”
That’s a ton of information to determine in a single interview.
Some companies will invite job candidates to a brief 15-minute interview by phone or Skype, otherwise known as the Screening Interview. Then if they want to continue to explore your candidacy, they’ll offer a second and possibly even a third interview that are more substantial and can last 30 minutes to half day.
Do not underestimate the screening interview. Those short 15 minutes are your make-or-break moments to show your stuff, demonstrate real interest in the company’s work, and knowledge about the employer and the industry. You’re expected to do this while making some level of human connection with your interviewers. Remember, they need to know that you are human (aka, normal), you’ll be fun to have around the office and hang out with at company events.
Too many job seekers squander the screening interview, by not taking interview prep and practice seriously.
You may do some quick online research, make a list of your past accomplishments, and then think of a few questions they might ask.
But here’s what you’ll actually need to rock the interview:
- Tailored interview questions
- Practice interview in a real simulated experience
- An effective career change narrative that doesn’t make you sound like a sad, rejected academic or unemployed person, but a confident job seeker with something great to offer.
- Line by line recommended improvements on your responses, interview attire, and personal ticks
This takes time and often you don’t get much notice to prepare for the interview. Still, take the time, ask for help, and get practice. It’s well worth it. After all, you’ve spent countless hours submitting cover letters and resumes, why squander all that time, energy, and money spent.
What are your top questions or concerns about the job interview? How could you ensure that those 15 minutes get you to the next interview?
Contact us for Interview Prep sessions so you are prepared for opportunities as they pop up.