This is a great question because it truly shows the right frame of mind anyone going into an interview should have. Your #1 goal should be to make sure the interviewer knows you have the skills and qualifications for the job they are looking to fill. (Note: Your #2 goal is to determine if the position is the right fit for YOU. More on that is discussed in another blog).
Many job seekers find articulating their skills and experiences difficult … especially when they face challenging interview questions. Here are the steps Revision Resume suggests you take so that you successfully articulate why you are the candidate to select for the opening.
Step 1: Review Your Resume
Your resume reflects your lived experiences -- and therefore is something you are very familiar with -- so it may feel counterintuitive that you need to review it. However, it is helpful to observe the way you have presented yourself to the interviewer. This is their view of you before you walk into the interview, and it may also be what they use to determine some of their questions. For example, they may ask for more details about a specific item you have included. Refreshing your memory of what your resume showcases and how it is worded may be helpful as you face interview questions.
Step 2: Review the Job Description
Go back and look at the job description for the position you applied to. This will allow you to determine what is important to the hiring manager. What skills are they seeking? What requirements do they have? Then, think through your qualifications and how they relate to the skills and requirements listed. Can you provide examples from your previous work experience that demonstrate you have what they are looking for?
In addition, did they provide a list of preferred skills? If you have any of those, you will want to highlight that during the interview. Demonstrating that you come equipped with their preferred skills may help you stand out compared to other candidates being interviewed.
Knowing why the company is hiring, how you fit, and then being able to communicate those things is the key to a successful outcome. It is also helpful to research the company's culture and philosophy, so you can weave that into your answers as well.
Step 3: Practice Using Your Experiences to Answer Common Questions
Think through common interview questions and how you would answer them. Consider if your answer addresses the need the company is facing. Evaluate if the specific examples you provide showcase that your skills and qualifications make you a good fit.
Providing specific examples is necessary for a successful interview. Think about work experiences and/or volunteer experiences that will demonstrate your ability to fill the opening.
Often candidates just think of a generic or vague answer to the question being asked. In fact, many will provide the same answer at multiple job interviews. Instead, try to frame your answer to show that you have what this specific role needs -- it will help you stand out compared to the competition.
Step 4: Develop Your Own Questions
Being prepared with your own questions shows you are invested in the interview. By asking thoughtful questions, you demonstrate interest and engagement. In addition, the answers to these questions may help you determine if you want to accept the role, should it be offered.
Although asking your own questions doesn't necessarily help you articulate the skills and experiences you have, it does show that you have done some work in advance to prepare for the interview. Unsure of what to ask? Here is a blog providing detailed suggestions.
Step 5: Send a Value Proposition Letter After the Interview
Only about 40% of job seekers send a post-interview thank you note. Even fewer go beyond saying thank you by sending a value proposition letter. Stand out from the crowd by sending a letter that expresses gratitude, but also capitalizes on the additional opportunity to share why you are qualified and suited for the role. Remind the interviewer of your skills and experiences. If you learned about an issue the company is facing during the interview, take this opportunity to express how you could help them resolve this problem. Read more on what to include in a value proposition letter here.
Following the above steps will help you articulate how you have the unique skills and experiences that have prepared you for the job you are seeking. Need additional help? Reach out to Revision Resume for job seeking assistance!
Looking for additional Interview tips? Click here.