3 Stages of an interview Copy

By now you will have picked up most of the important points we will cover anyway. It is the interpersonal and communication skills we have explored that apply for any situation where you have to communicate with someone.

An interview is a 2 way experience.

Interviewers don’t just want to hear about your skills and experience, which is the What part of you, they want to see the How part as well. They want to get to know the person behind the resume.

This is where you “sell yourself”. But be real, don’t pretend to be someone or something you’re not, that is not going to get you anywhere. There are 3 parts I will cover here:

  • Pre Interview
  • The Interview
  • Post Interview

Pre Interview: Ask yourself, what is it the interviewers want from the exercise? They want to know that you know about the role, the industry, why you are applying, and what you will bring to the table. Not just in skills or experience, but the How part of the position. So before you get there, do your homework and Perfect Preparation not just what is on the net, but find real people that are in or have been in the industry and the role. Imagine citing this in the interview, what message does it send to the very people that will employ you?

Now reference the positives that you will bring to the table. How will you work in team? How will you communicate with your colleagues, departments and stakeholders. These things are connected to the above things the interviewers want.

Your your first sales lesson.

Whether you like it or not you are in sales. We all sell something. Either a product, a service. an idea or ourselves. Every day we are selling something. That being the case, you should know how to do it well. Now I’m not going to give you a sales 101 lesson or the 13 steps to being a great salesperson. Personally I think that stuff is all crap anyway, but that is a different conversation. (if you are in sales or want to be a sales professional, then go to brucebowen.com.au for some free tips)

The biggest mistake most sales people make is to make the process and conversation about them, when it should be about the other people. In the interview context, yes they want to know about you, but only in the context of how you will benefit their company or business. Sorry, but at this point they really don’t care about you, but what you will bring. If you use all your soft & life skills once you start the job, then they will start to care about the person they are investing in. That is a key focus here. Your employers are making an investment in you. It’s not the other way round.

Whenever you want to sell anything, your first thought should be about them and their WIIFM’s That is an acronym which stands for:

  • Whats
  • In
  • It
  • For
  • Me

Thats all anybody wants to know, what’s in it for them. So as you prepare for the interview, make a list of what you think their wiifm’s might be. Ask your trusted group of support people for their ideas on this, after all they have some experience.

To help in preparation check out their social information. Go to their website, face book page, other similar business in that industry. Find something that you can relate with about that company. e.g. You might like that way the company encourages their staff through incentives. You might see that they offer “outside of work learning” to develop skills. It might be that they encourage promotion within the company. But of course Please make it real, don’t BS just because you think that’s what they want to hear – you’re doing more damage than good, and trust me, you won’t get the job. They are not stupid

So yes talk about yourself when it is appropriate, but don’t “Make It” about you – It’s all about them and what they want. If you present yourself in this way you will have a huge advantage over other candidates, because unless they have done this course, they wont do what you will.

You do have a responsibility though, to practice – no, perfect practice. You will only perform in an interview the the way you have prepared and practiced to. So don’t just anticipate their wiifm’s, practice your delivery or answers for them. Get your trusted support group to put you through a mock interview and practice your presentation. Not just your knowledge, but your soft skills also.

The interview

We have covered a little of this in the first step so this will be brief.


In the interview you could ask: “what do you see as the most important skills required to succeed in this job, and why? Now give them an honest answer. If you have some of what they want, say that, then how you will improve on those skills. Then give some other skills that will support the ones they are asking for.

An Interviewer wants to see you, not your mask.

Don’t be the typical sales person and waffle on about you, unless you can connect it to their wiifm’s – but you have to discover this first. There’s little point waffling on if you miss the mark and waste their time. How do you find out…… ask them.

Tips To Impress

  • Thank the receptionist or person that leads you to the interview room – in front of the interviewers, it shows respect
  • Thank the interviewers for the opportunity to present yourself and what you can bring to their business.
  • Remember to use their names, if you don’t know, then ask them. If an interview starts with a question about you, then say something like: “before we start I have been taught to always know the names of who I’m talking to, do you mind if is ask your names?
  • Slow your heart rate down if you’re nervous. They know you are likely to be so that’s cool. Take a big slow deep breath before you enter the room. I’ll give you an NLP anchor in a later lesson to help with this.
  • A dry mouth, you know what to do.
  • Smile
  • Posture
  • Confidence
  • Thank them again after the interview

Post Interview

  • Thank the person again who led you to the room if you see them and wish them a great day
  • DON’T get straight on your phone as you walk out…… they are still watching you to see how you behave and what your posture is. The interview is still in progress. Take a deep breath, smile, and walk straight with your head held high. Wait till your out of sight to do what ever it is you will do

As soon as possible and within 20 mins if you can, send the company an email thanking them again for the interview. Use names, and how much you enjoyed the interview (unless it was an absolute catastrophe – and don’t sweat if it is, we all have those) How much you feel you would enjoy working there if you were fortunate enough to gain the position.

The Rules:

  • Don’t be cheesy
  • Be short, sharp and shiny
  • Don’t be presumptuous – just how much you would like it
  • This is not to reiterate what you have already said in the interview. Just to show some courtesy ….. and business class

Why do this?

  • You want to stand out
  • You want to be front of mind
  • To be remembered – for the right reasons
  • Show respect and gratitude
  • You are using your soft skills (which is what they want)

If it comes down to 2 candidates with the same skills and each has ticked the right boxes for them, who do you think will get the job ……………… good news, YOU