Goldman Sachs HR chief shares 5 tips for acing your job interview
Recruiting done right is not about filling seats, ita��s about building the future of a business. Over the past several years, companies across industries have evolved their approach to evaluating candidates.
When it comes to assessment techniques, wea��re seeing the use of machine learning and data analytics, personality questionnaires, online case studies, video interviewing and more.
That said, the primary objective of the recruiting process remains the same a�� to measure the strength of a candidate and determine whether there is an intellectual chemistry between that individual and his or her future colleagues.
Interviews are an integral part of making that determination. Ia��ve had the opportunity to conduct thousands of them over the course of my career, and reflecting on what differentiated the great candidates, Ia��d like to share five tips to help you ace your next interview.
Tell your story.
Your resume was strong enough to get you to the interview a�� now ita��s time to bring it to life. Avoid walking through every bullet point, but instead,A�turn your experiences into a compelling story that reflects who you are, what you have done and how you have made an impact. Craft a clear and concise message that demonstrates you have the skills, judgment and drive to do the job.
Interviewers are looking for a pattern of behavior, given that can serve as a strong indicator of how you will perform. So, to support your narrative, provide specific examples from your past. Share an experience that demonstrates how youa��ve overcome adversity or a challenge and what you learned from the process. Before the interview, think about your strengths and weaknesses and understand how they relate to this opportunity. Of course, dona��t forget the interview is not only about highlighting your individual capabilities, but also proving youa��re a team-player who works well with others.
Do your research.
a�?Winging ita�? is not an effective strategy to land your next job. Therea��s information everywhere, go and get itA�(corporate websites, annual reports, press coverage, social media, people in your network who work at the company). Know the company that youa��re interviewing with a�� whata��s their business, how do they speak about their culture, what are recent initiatives theya��ve undertaken. Beyond the company, also understand the industry a�� how ita��s doing, what are the trends, challenges and opportunities and how are competitors performing.
Be ready to answer the question a�� a�?why do you want to work herea�? a�� and offer a response thata��s more thought out than a�?it seems like a great place to work.a�? Show you understand the bigger picture and whata��s happening in the macro environment and demonstrate your appreciation of the organizationa��s culture. And lastly, describe both your qualifications and your passion for doingA�thisA�job atA�thisA�company.
Ask questions, and listen.
An interview should not be a one-way conversation, it should be an exchange. Ask thoughtful questions that show youa��re prepared and looking to learn more about the company, the team and the role. By asking questions along the way and helping drive the conversation, youa��re more likely to make a connection with the interviewer and leave a positive impression. And, after youa��ve asked a question, be sure to listen. Ita��s tempting to start thinking about what youa��re going to say next, but stay focused. You stand to learn a lot by listening to your interviewera��s insights and experiences.
One of the most important things you can do is toA�be yourself. Sometimes, candidates can sound overly rehearsed or act in a certain way because theyA�thinkthata��s what the interviewer wants. Remember,A�the interview process should help you determine whether your values align with the companya��s values, and so if you feel the need to put on an a�?interview personaa�?, that may be a sign ita��s not the right match.
If youa��re interviewing for a job that is new and different from what youa��ve previously done a��A�embrace those differencesA�rather than try to convince the interviewer youa��re an expert in something youa��re not. Companies value varied backgrounds and experiences because thata��s what enables them to expand their expertise and create new solutions.
Dona��t forget the basics.
In a competitive environment, being smart and having a strong resume may not always be enough. So, what else counts?A�Sometimes, ita��s the a�?little thingsa�? that can differentiate you. Companies are looking to hire people who will thrive in their corporate culture, and soA�showing that you are a thoughtful, collaborative and collegial personA�can be just as important as demonstrating your technical skills.
An interview is about more than just giving answers to questions a�� ita��s also about the impression that you make. Here are some of the a�?little thingsa�? that matter:
a�?A�Arrive on time
a�?A�Be friendly to everyone you meet
a�?A�Know the dress code
a�?A�Pay attention to your body language
a�?A�Send a thank you email or note
In the end, remember that an interview is just a conversation (an important one, of course). While preparation and good presentation are key contributors to your success, ita��s really about having an exchange and determining whether ita��s a good fit for both you and the company. Get to know your interviewers, and help them get to know you by telling your story and sharing what you hope the next chapter will be.