What interviewers want to know

Luna Schrøder
Luna Schrøder

The job interview is the first foot in the door of the potential employer. The pressure and expectations is correspondingly high and many applicants are gripped by nervousness. Before an interview, one should ask oneself: What does the interviewer pay attention to? What information does he or she need in order to assess whether I am suitable for the position?
Here are three questions an interviewer will want to find an answer to while talking to you. So make it easy, and give him/ her the answers right away.

Does the applicant fit the position?

Beyond factual matters of previous experience and competencies, the interviewer will look at how you present yourself in order to evaluate your work processes and how you fit into the team. While previous research into the work environment can be helpful, it will not always be easy to find answers. As such, take a moment to take in the environment: how to coworkers interact, is there a lot of conversation, does the interviewer tell anecdotes or does he/she remain purely factual?
Mirroring is a good tactic for these situations, as this will give you clue about which side of your personality is in demand. Also keep in mind the position you are applying for, as different traits will be important. Not all can be changed, but you can choose to hone in on some of your awesome personality traits more than on others.

Does the applicant match the CV?

Accuracy in the CV is always important - any mismatches will quickly become apparent to experienced interviewers. If your own information is correct, you should be able to provide concrete examples for each stage.
This can be easily prepared beforehand and keep in mind possible follow-up questions such as: What was the assignment? Which tasks were you responsible for? How was it implemented? What results were achieved? Succinct and clear answers will help you seem confident in yourself and your work.

Does the applicant really want the job?

The interviewer will want to know that you are motivated and excited by the position. In the conversation include typical situations and challenges of everyday work which you are excited about and for which you may have innovative ideas. You can prepare these topics at home and weave them into your conversation.
Link traits that will be expected of you with how you have used them in previous jobs, it shows capability and preparedness and that you really want the job.

In addition to content aspects, the interviewer also wants to know how long you want to work in the position. If you have frequently changed employers, you may need to reassure the interviewer that this will not be the case again. It is always good to take the initiative and speak about possible queries or second-guesses directly, so you can present your side of the story and convince the interviewer that you will be the perfect match.

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