I have been here quite some time now and after reading a few of the messages, I realized that while there are many queries and opinions being expressed, I haven’t seen any concrete guidance for interviewing. I’ve seen some awful suggestions though.
First, let me introduce myself. I currently hold the title of Director of Product Management, but before that, I have held positions as a salesperson, a sales manager in the automotive business, a graphic designer, and a product management leader for more than 15 years with titles such as VP, SVP, and CPO. I have experience working for small as well as large companies.
In order to avoid pontificating, here are some ideas I had:
First of all, people are seeking for teammates, which entails finding people they get along with, who are competent on par with the rest of the team (but lack experience), get things done, are dependable, and can think of inventive solutions to problems. Being a creative problem solver is a significant asset, even at simple occupations. You need to project a positive image. Furthermore, you want the interviewer to start supporting your achievement.
So, how do you go about doing that? You must be prepared to share anecdotes during an interview that will draw the interviewer’s interest and highlight your value. You must assist the interviewers because most interviewers are not very skilled.
These days, when I hire, I screen for 4 criteria. Grit, Integrity, Empathy, and Creativity, in my opinion, these are the four qualities that are universally sought and essential in order to succeed in any profession.
I think your chances of getting recruited are significantly increased if you can demonstrate these four qualities in an interview. How do you illustrate these concepts and what do they mean?
Grit: It is the capacity to complete a task or undertaking despite difficulties. You must demonstrate initiative, the ability to recognize and resolve obstacles in your path (sometimes this entails seeking assistance, especially if you’re younger), but largely it entails perseverance in the face of difficulty.
So, prepare a story that you may use to demonstrate your tenacity. Tell a tale about a challenging issue you overcame. Explain the background, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them. It’s acceptable to share a tale that is unrelated to your career for your first job or if you have less experience (1-3 years). Or a circumstance where you identified a challenge beyond your area of expertise and escalated to request assistance from your supervisor or a senior colleague, finishing the project as a result. It can sometimes be preferable to work together as a team and to have the humility to ask for assistance than to struggle alone. It’s probably more crucial to demonstrate your independence if you’re a more senior individual.
Integrity: Are you dependable and trustworthy? Tell a story about a time you faced a moral or ethical dilemma and had to make the difficult choice to uphold morality in order to demonstrate your integrity. Or, if you’re bold, a time you made a mistake but learned from it. To be clear, I’m not referring to a time you made a mistake; rather, I’m referring to an instance in which you failed, did the wrong thing despite knowing it was the wrong thing to do, took the decision, and suffered the consequences. Of course, it’s crucial that, if you choose that route, your attention is on the lessons you learned and the reasons you won’t repeat that error. If anything in your past may be uncovered by a quick social media search or background check, this could be quite crucial. While you are vulnerable in an interview, especially while discussing integrity, the interviewer may start to support your achievement.
Empathy: This is the capacity to step into another person’s shoes, observe the world from their vantage point, and act accordingly. I would use an example of a moment when you found it difficult to cooperate with someone else, perhaps even someone you didn’t particularly care for or even disliked. However, you soon gained empathy for them, understood why they were acting the way they were, or knew what was motivating them, and you were able to resolve the problems. Perhaps you had a wonderful working relationship, or perhaps you simply managed to get along with a challenging coworker. In either case, this will demonstrate empathy and the capacity to work cooperatively with others, even when they are challenging.
Creativity: This one can be more challenging. I use a question during interviews to gather stories about creativity from the candidates. So, exercise caution when inserting this into a discourse. Describe a time when you came up with a creative solution to a challenging problem. You may mention a business you founded, even something as simple as a lawn-mowing service you ran as a child, a church activity, or a summer project. After that, I urge them to elaborate on the concept and consider other angles of it until they either demonstrate their ability to reason through problems and reach a conclusion or hit a brick wall. In either case, it’s incredibly instructive for the interviewer.
Hopefully, this was helpful. Just keep in mind that hiring managers want team players. They are assessing both your suitability and your qualifications. Therefore, it’s crucial that you allow people to see you as you truly are so that they can judge you accordingly. People who were too reserved and wouldn’t let me get to know them were filled out of interviews by me.
Just one more thing. You ought to be interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Bring thoughtful questions, conduct your homework about the employer before the interview, and be prepared to explain why you want the job. Find out if the interviewers are people you will have to work with every day or if you won’t be working with them every day if you find that you don’t get along with them. If you don’t like the coworkers, it might not be worthwhile to accept the position.