Open-Eyed Interviewing

We all know the best way to enter an interview is to be well prepared and well informed. But what are you planning to do to set yourself apart from the pack? Why will the company remember your talent after you’re gone and only your resume remains?

Do Your Homework
Walk into the interview armed with knowledge of the company and the position. Research their website as well as other industry information available on the company. Ask your loose network of friends and acquaintances for information about this place of employment. You don’t have to share everything you’ve learned, but it’s nice to slide in some information during the interview. You can also decide if this company appears to be the right fit for you.

Watch and Listen for Cues
Often your interviewer will give you a mini-tour of the department and introduce you to some potential coworkers. Do your best to commit names and processes to memory. As you go, consider how your skills could best enhance the current set-up. If your interviewer is a talker, you may find some specific problem areas where you could help out to improve the status quo.

Be Assertive but Tactful
When the opportunity presents itself, make your case. Describe what you’ve observed without being too critical, and how your skills could fill the gap. Pick just one area to focus on. The key to this is proper timing (perhaps waiting until you’re asked for questions), tactful delivery, and humility. You may not know everything about the company, but could make things better with your suggestions.

Hiring is all about filling a need, and communicating your ability to accomplish the mission can separate you from other talented people vying for the same job.