Interviewing is never easy, even if you’ve gone through more than you care to remember! Each time you’re having to sell yourself to new people and form a connection in a short amount of time. In addition, you need to be comfortable in speaking to your accomplishments and highlighting what distinguishes you from your peers. Here are some quick pointers to help nail your next interview!
1. Avoid overtalking
For those who get overly anxious during an interview – be sure to take a deep breath and be calm! You got this. The person who is interviewing you wants to know about you. And, who knows you better than yourself, right? Think of yourself as a consultant through the process. How can you help the organization in advancing its Business Continuity program? What does the company want to accomplish with their program over the next 9-12 months? What previous expertise do you bring to the table to help them in accomplishing their program goals? Also, when answering questions, you want to stay on topic. If the interviewer inquires about your experience conducting BIAs – stick to the subject of your BIA expertise. Be sure to avoid drifting off to another topic, such as plan exercises. Once you drift off-topic you risk losing their attention.
2. Be specific
It’s a careful balance between providing enough information and staying on topic. This is when it’s important to read your audience to ensure you’re keeping their attention. Admittedly, this is easier face-to-face. When responding to an interview question, you want to be sure to cite a specific example that answers the question. For example, if an interviewer inquires about your experience conducting BIAs and you respond with, “I have conducted several BIAs. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about Business Continuity planning.” Hmm… do you believe that response provided enough information? The interviewer is left unsure if you have BIA expertise or not. How have you conducted BIAs in the past? What methodology have you used? How have you engaged others throughout the organization in this process? The key here is to highlight a specific example, however, be concise with your response.
3. Be positive and don’t fake it!
For many, this seems like a no brainer, right? Don’t speak negatively about a previous company, manager or anything you disliked about previous responsibilities. There is much more, though. Are you prepared to answer why you left a previous company? Let’s just face it… nothing is ever perfect. You may have been in a toxic environment/ culture, however, being prepared to answer why you left and keeping a positive demeanor is key. It’s also something that cannot be faked. An interviewer can always read if you’re hiding something. Additionally, don’t misrepresent experience that you may not have. For example, if you haven’t managed a program activation in response to an event – be honest. An appropriate response would be, “I haven’t had the opportunity to manage a program activation, but I have assisted in several program activations and here’s what I’ve learned through those experiences”. Be sure to site specifics too.
4. Show genuine interest
Being enthusiastic and showing general interest will go a long way! If you were interviewing multiple candidates and their expertise mirrored each other, wouldn’t you select the candidate who genuinely seemed interested in the job opportunity and company? On this topic, the thank you letter is often overlooked these days and it can go a long way! A short thank you letter via email is welcome and preferred. One word of caution, though. Don’t circumvent the process when corresponding to a potential employer. If you don’t have the hiring manager’s email address, then it’s best to send the thank you letter to the person who arranged your interview and ask them to forward along on your behalf. Be sure to thank the person who arranged the interview too.
5. Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t beat yourself up through the process! Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back right away or get declined from an organization. It’s easy to overthink things and wonder why you were not selected, but perhaps that organization or that program was not the best fit for you. It can honestly be compared to dating… You may never know why he/ she didn’t call you back, but it was probably for the better, right?
Be sure to keep these tips in mind, but at the same time. It’s important to remember that interviewing is a journey to find that perfect home/ next chapter for your career. We’re here to help too!
If you have any additional questions BC Management is here to help. BC Management is the premier recruiting firm for Risk, Resilience, and Business Continuity professionals. If you are looking to take the next step in your career we would love to discuss your needs .
Managing Director, BC Management