Winning the Candidate Interview

What You DO Want to Do

Bear in mind that you are unlikely to get a second chance to leave a good impression.   So, get ready by really preparing yourself beforehand. In other words, do your homework.

Candidate interview

Obtain the relevant information and data on the company in advance and, if possible, of the person(s) who will interview you.  Collect these data from several sources (Stock Exchange, CVM, Serasa, Google, Who is Who, Annual Report, the company’s website, media, etc.) or the social media (Facebook, Yahoo, Linkedin, Orkut, qualified blogs, etc.).

Arrive early for the interview. In this way, you will be calmer and more at ease, besides having the opportunity to get used to the
environment and seeing the people who work there.

Think as the employer.  Put yourself in the interviewer’s seat, not only to understand “what” he asked but, more importantly,
“why” he asked that specific question.

Interact with the interviewer.  The interviewer will want to check if your abilities and competencies can be translated into solid results
for the company. Therefore, prepare evidence or proof of the link: “Competencies = Results”.

Ask questions…intelligent ones.  Do not keep on passively answering questions; ask your own as well on relevant issues concerning the position and the situation of the company.

Use your body language in your favor. Sometimes, this may be more eloquent than the spoken word. Dress appropriately / Look straight into the eye / Use a firm handshake / Stay relaxed and natural /Give a genuine smile!

The company wants to hire someone who will meet its current and future needs.  Consequently, do not linger on your past glories and results. Instead, focus more on what you will be able to bring to your future employer.

Remember that you will be appraised for your technical competencies, but you will be selected based on your personal competencies.  The skills and qualifications you present are indeed important. However, the confidence, the chemistry, and the bonding you are able to generate are usually the determining factors for the final choice.

 

What You DO NOT Want to Do

Do not arrive late and fail to get yourself adequately prepared for the interview. This can be fatal!

Do not monopolize the talk.  Try to be brief, objective, and interesting. In reality, the best interviews are the ones where the rule “3:1” applies, that is, you are in the “listening” mode three times more than in the “talking” mode.

Do not be defensive.
In case you have to answer a belligerent or deleterious question, do so with elegance and class. Do not take it as a personal offense.

Never speak badly about your former boss or current employer.
This usually backfires.

Do not lie or “beat around the bush”.
The truth will always prevail in the end and this tactic can ruin your intentions. If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it and do not feel ashamed about it.

Do not be arrogant or try to “teach” the interviewer how to run his own business.  Nobody likes a “know-it-all”.

Do not force a situation in which you do not see yourself as the best fit.  Sometimes, it is better to think it over so that, in the future, you will not regret, or even worse, you will not feel frustrated about a decision. Put your ego temporarily aside.

Do not discuss the compensation issue at the wrong time.  This part of the discussion should be left for the appropriate time, that is, when both sides feel
comfortable enough to close the hiring. And, do so preferably with the person who is the effective decision maker.

Do not leave the interview without taking down notes.  These notes may be very important for an eventual future interview or for the continuation
of the selection process.

Do not forget to look for and learn valuable lessons after each interview (especially the ones where you did not fare so well). Take advantage to learn what you should do and what you should avoid doing in a future opportunity.

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