When you walk into a job interview, there’s just one thing an interviewer wants to know: What can you do for us?
The best way to answer that question is to give examples of what you have done for past employers. When you give examples of the good work you’ve done in the past, it impresses an interviewer and can make you stand out from the pack. Furthermore, providing good examples follows a proven tenet of effective communication: “Show, Don’t Tell.”
Just saying you have strong communication skills isn’t very convincing. However, if you can give an example of a time when your communication skills saved money or helped bring a project to completion, it gives a good indication of strong communication abilities.
If you are looking to provide good examples of your abilities to a job interview, you should consider following a few basic rules. Consider the following.
Start with Results
When trying to come up with good anecdotes for an interview, a great place to start is by reviewing your most impressive results. Think back over the course of your career and try to pick out the times when you provided the most value to your employer. Did you come up with the process improvement that saved countless man–hours? Did you solve a nagging problem that had been costing your company a lot of money?
Once you come up with a list of your best results, your interview anecdotes will start to write themselves.
Come Up with Hard Numbers
Hard numbers can help you drive home your point. Simply saying that you identified cost savings that saved “thousands of dollars” isn’t as effective as saying you identified “$15,000 a month” in cost–saving process improvements.
Show Your Work
While providing impressive examples backed by hard numbers can make you a standout candidate, talk about your thought process helps make a more well–rounded example. So, if you’re telling your interviewer about process improvements that you implemented in the past, it’s helpful to mention how you came up with those improvements, where you noticed deficiencies or anything else involved and the process of making those improvements.
Showing your work helps an interviewer to understand your thought processes better and who you are as a person. This can help you make a stronger, more personal connection and come across as a fully formed candidate.
Don’t Forget About the Big Picture
Companies want to hire people who aren’t just focused on the narrow scope of their individual job. They want to hire people who understand how their job fits into the bigger picture.
If possible, have your anecdotes connect to ‘big picture’ benefits for your past employers. Talk about positive reactions from management and coworkers. Talk about long–term impacts of your work.
When you’re able to come across someone who thinks about the big picture, it helps your interviewer to see the long–term potential in you as a possible employee.
We Can Help You Improve Your Interview Performance
At Career Concepts, we not only connect job seekers to great career opportunities, we also help them through the hiring process. If you’re currently looking for job search assistance, please contact us today.