5 ways to ace a job interview post COVID-19
The candidate pool for open job positions is expected to significantly increase as Arizona inches closer to early withdrawal from federal unemployment programs on July 3. This is in addition to Governor Ducey’s already existing executive order that requires unemployed Arizonans prove they’re actively looking for a job to continue receiving benefits.
Employers who are coming off the COVID-19 rollercoaster are looking for candidates who can adapt to roles quickly, handle unforeseen obstacles and pivot under pressure to succeed. There is going to be ample opportunity as employee-starved managers and HR departments salivate at the first wave of candidates they’ve seen in months. Interviews usually don’t allow for a significant amount of time, so it’s truly up to the candidate to make every minute count. If you’re looking for a job, try sticking to the following strategy and you will stand out in a pool of people vying for the same position:
1. Discover the employer’s problems: Dig to find out as much information about the employer as the employer is trying to find out about you. COVID-19 caused many barriers, shifts and changes. What are their current problems? How can you help solve them? Candidates aren’t usually seeking to solve the employer’s problem within the first 30 minutes of meeting, so this tactic will make you memorable. Be interested in what they’re dealing with and what they want to make happen in their company or department.
2. View yourself as a value center: Don’t act like someone who is just looking for a job. Instead, view yourself as someone who can create extraordinary value by bringing a set of gifts, talents and perspective that can be of use in the workplace. When you take a new job, it’s a fresh start. You don’t have to be the person you were at an old job. You have the power to become whoever you need to be. As you’re discovering what they need, start to envision yourself as the solution.
3. Mirror the mood and conversation style: Being able to mirror the mood and conversation style of the person interviewing you makes them feel comfortable no matter what type of personality you have. Whether they’re short and to the point or talk slowly and draw out sentences, mirroring styles shows that you are the kind of person who can get along with anyone. People hire people they feel comfortable with.
4. Ask managers next-level questions: Try to truly understand what your potential manager prefers in terms of work style. When interviewing with someone who could be your boss, ask key questions to better understand their management behavior. What systems support them best? Do they like collaborating? Would they like for you to be transparent about problems in the workplace? If a manager feels that you’re genuinely trying to meet their needs, they’ll likely add you to their list of potentials.
5. Discuss long-term career opportunities: Show that you’re interested in career growth, rather than just getting hired. Asking about potential promotions up front makes it easier to talk about pay increases and other opportunities in the future. Don’t over-reach here, but definitely be the kind of person that’s looking at a long-term opportunity.
If you feel like the interview went well and the position would be a good fit, a follow-up email is always recommended. Remind the employer of ways you can be a solution to their problems, how you see yourself thriving in the role and what you enjoyed most about the conversation. However, be desirable in your delivery and don’t come off as if you’re chasing. And remember, when it comes to getting out there, the earlier the better.
Zanzibar Vermiglio is an author, corporate trainer, and the founder of Zanzibar Enterprises. After skipping college at age 18 to manage companies, he’s since led training programs for over 20,000 people in hundreds of businesses and doubled the size of over 100 companies by focusing on value proposition design and execution, sales planning and operation scalability which includes management architectures. Learn more by visiting zanzibarenterprises.com.