Developing Your Career


10-Item Checklist That Will Improve Your Interview Success

By Lee Hecht Harrison on March 31, 2015

Do you ever wish you could pull back the curtain to reveal what interviewers really want to know about you? While most job seekers are very comfortable answering questions related to their area of expertise, sometimes answering questions designed to uncover the more abstract behaviors and attitudes hiring managers are seeking will trip up qualified applicants.

In his article, 3 key questions to ask yourself before a job interview, Charles Galda, CIO at GE Capital, discusses three key characteristics he looks for while interviewing potential employees:  inquisitiveness, problem solving skills and the ability to work as a team member. Another often-cited characteristic valued by hiring professionals is the candidate’s energy or enthusiasm. As part of your interview preparation, use this 10-item checklist to see if you’re really demonstrating these critical behaviors in an interview:

  1. Have I performed research on the company, its products and challenges in the market?
  2. Have I conducted searches on the interviewer to find out as much about him or her as possible?
  3. Am I prepared to ask incisive questions about the company, department and job?
  4. Do I inquire as to why the position is open?
  5. Do I practice active listening techniques that demonstrate enthusiasm and interest by maintaining eye contact, nodding in acknowledgement, leaning forward and rephrasing questions to promote understanding?
  6. Do I offer a firm handshake, sit up straight and smile frequently?
  7. Have I memorized several “stories” that convey examples of my problem-solving abilities, my performance in a team environment and other significant accomplishments?
  8. Do I show enthusiasm when unexpectedly asked to take a tour of the company, go to lunch, or meet the team?
  9. Do I maintain a positive attitude when discussing former managers, co-workers or employers?
  10. Do I close the interview with a statement as to why I’m interested in the position and a question as to next steps?

How you prepare for an interview and the characteristics, behaviors and attitudes you’re projecting throughout the meeting can be positive game changers. Be prepared, enthusiastic, interested and strategic … and nail the interview.

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