I got inspired to write this article because I’ve been privileged to be at the other side of the table during interviews and a lot of candidates’ lose opportunities because of little things they have taken for granted.
An HR professional or recruiter isn’t just looking for someone who can do the job, but someone who will fit into the organization well. Most candidates feel that the most important thing during an interview is to demonstrate their skills and ability to do well on a job neglecting other aspects that can be a deal breaker.
Various organizations have their indivdual cultures, so there is no rule to follow in ensuring you demonstrate you are the right person. You may not be right for all organizations, so don’t feel too bad if you are rejected; rather move on and learn from the experience.
Here are some things to take note of which you may not have considered before.
“What do you know about our organization?”
As simple as that questions sounds, it’s a very important question recruiters are interested in. The general advice you have seen on other career articles is to always read about the organization before attending an interview. However, there is more to reading the website. Most candidates just cram and recite what’s in the website verbatim. This is a BIG turn off for recruiters. You should demonstrate proper understanding by properly extracting the right information and saying it in a way that shows a connection to the goals of the organization.
“Why are you interested in working with us?”
This question may come in other forms, but the point is: why you are perfect for the organization. In answering this question, a candidate should have a proper understanding of what the organization does, its mission and vision and also its values. You are not expected to recite it to the organization, rather you are to explain why your personality resonates with what the organization does. You are also to show your interest in line with what the organization does.o
Finally, don’t be careless. Little things matter right from when you walk into the organization. A colleague shared a real life situation of how a candidate showed the wrong culture fit even before the interview commenced. The candidate went to use the restroom just before the interview. The restroom was for both male and female but it had different sections for each sex which was labelled on the individual doors. This man walked into the male section and left the door open while peeing. The director walked in and saw him peeing with the doors open and that was the end of the process for him. I have met numerous candidates who lost the opportunity just by carelessness.
Comport yourself throughout the interview, because the receptionist sometimes tell us not to consider a candidate from her experience with the candidate before the interview and even if the candidate is highly skilled, he/she will be dropped based on culture fit.
It’s important to do a research on the culture of the organization so as to give you a heads-up on what to do. The truth is you can’t really see that from their website unless you have an insider. The best advice is to be your true self and let the organization see the talent in you.
I wish you the best!