There are many interview techniques that help job seekers in their quest for employment. Having a standout resume, dressing the part, and being prepared are all ways to make any employer want to hire you.
With that being said, the interview is a crucial time to leave zero doubt in an employer's mind about why you are the best candidate for the job. You obviously can't get into your potential employer's head (wouldn't that be nice?), but through what you say and do, you can ease their worries -- and leave them with no choice but to consider you as their next top hire.
Here are some of the burning questions employers have for job seekers and how you can answer them with confidence:
Do your skills match what this position requires?
A recent CareerBuilder study found that 77 percent of employers responded they wonder if the candidate truly has the necessary skills for the job -- and 53 percent said resumes don't provide enough information for them to make a solid decision on whether someone is right for the job.
Tailoring your resume to the position is a great way to start. Include experiences that the job is looking for to land yourself on an employer's radar.
Bring a portfolio with additional pieces of your work to show physical proof of your accomplishments (bonus points if you make a leave-behind portfolio for employers to look at after). During the conversation, talking about past projects you've excelled on that relate to the position. Referring back to verifiable examples of your work experience will ease an employer's mind about your qualifications.
Will you fit in with the company culture?
It's one thing to have the experience for the position itself, but what about your fit within the entire company? The CareerBuilder study found 61 percent of employers worry about a candidate's cultural fit -- and understandably so. You will spend the majority of your week at work, and even the most qualified candidate won't last long if the environment and culture aren't right.
So how do you prove you fit? First, do your research. Does the company get together a few times a month outside of the office? Or do employees tend to keep to themselves? Know what you're getting into before you walk into the interview and use that information to show how your goals and interests align with the company's mission, vision, values, and culture.
Be open to discuss your passions outside of work. Does the company do service work? Talk about how you volunteer at the local animal shelter once a week. Relating your personal life to the culture is a great way to show employers you are truly the right fit for the position.
What are your salary expectations?
Coming on too strong when it comes to salary is a major turn off for any employer -- especially during the early interview stage.
When you first go into an interview, be open minded but reserved when it comes to discussions of compensation. In fact, salary probably won't even come up, so questioning it too early sends up a red flag to employers. You don't want to look like your interest in the position is all about the money. While you certainly have to get paid, employers want to know you're ultimately there because you are interested in the job itself and will do great work for the company.
How long do you plan to stay?
The hiring process can be long and time-consuming. Hiring managers don't want to spend a lot of time on candidates if they will only be at the company for a short period of time.
If you have past experience to show that you've been committed to a company for an extended period of time, use it. And if not, highlight your passion for the work you would be doing in the new position and your enthusiasm to learn and grow.
Touching on the future of the position you're interviewing for -- chances for advancement down the road and taking on more responsibilities -- shows an employer you're looking at your future with their company. It will also give you insight about where you could end up in a few years and if it is right for you.
What are some other questions employers have when interviewing candidates?
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.
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