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4 Principles for Job Interviews

3 December 2018

Here are four of the most important principles I like to see sitting behind the way you approach job interviews.

Principle #1 - The interview is about the Interviewer/Panel

As I have written about previously the interview is not about you, the interviewee, it is about the interviewer. Your job is to care for the panel and help them do the job they need to do as well as they possibly can.  In the interview join the team that has the task of finding the best person for the role.  If that is you, brilliant.  Your role on the team is to present, as clearly as possible, the qualities you will bring as well as your potential (see #4 below).  If, in examining what the job needs and what you will bring you find there is not a fabulous match say no.  Save yourself the misery of landing in a job for which you are not a good fit and wasting effort that could go into other career development activities.

Principle #2 – Be Authentic

Don’t fall into the false thinking that you need to present yourself as perfect.  Be human instead.   When you try to present yourself in the way you think they want you to be you often misjudge it.  We, that is the panel, naturally have very sensitive BS meters.  When you decide to be who you are you can’t get that wrong.

Principle #3 – Be Prepared

Come to the interview with good knowledge of yourself and the qualities you can bring to the role.   Think about the topics the interviewer/panel will want to inquire into.  Prepare and know your own thinking about these topics and why they will be important in the role.  And do what you need to do to put yourself in a good emotional state prior to the interview so that anxiety does not inhibit you being a valuable part of the interview team (yes, I know this can be difficult, but following these principles will help).

Principle #4 – Bring Potential

Know how you want to develop in the role and be alive with ideas about what you want to bring.  Potential is attractive.  Given a choice between two employees, one who will calmly sit and solidly do the work, and one who will still get the job done, but brings ideas and innovations and energy, and employers will choose potential over experience most of the time. 

As always wishing you a flourishing career.


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