When you go in for a job interview, you’re completely focused on the future. You’re thinking about the possibility of a new job, new assignments, new co-workers, and new opportunities. The person interviewing you, by contrast, is completely focused on the past. After all, the only tool they have to evaluate your fit is your previous employment record. Here are a few ways you can leverage your past to benefit your future:
Your past employment is going to be a major focus of the job interview. Make sure in advance of the interview, you’ve thoroughly reviewed your full history (not just the timeline on your resume) and spent some time reflecting on each entry. There may be an opportunity, or landmine, you had forgotten about that will be important to remember during the interview.
Any fabrication regarding your employment history will immediately disqualify you for most jobs. When asked about your past, be completely honest about where you worked, what you did, what schedules you kept, and what you achieved. Be ready to back up any of your assertions with proof.
You may have had a bad experience with a past employer. If this is the case, avoid disparaging them during the interview. This simply makes you look petty and unprofessional, and does nothing to bolster your fit for the job. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of the job, and talk about what you learned from any professional stumbles or setbacks you may have experienced.
You’re not required to present your full employment biography in a dry, clinical manor. You can choose to highlight the jobs and accomplishments that cast you in the best light. Pick out the aspects of your past that are most relevant to the position you want now, and make those a major focus. Remember, you need to do everything possible to stand out from the rest of the candidate field.
You have some control over the course of the interview, but for the most part, the interviewer is the guide. He may choose to focus on aspects of your past that are less than rosy or outside your interview strategy. If you clam up, get tense, or awkwardly try to steer the conversation elsewhere, it’s only going to raise a red flag. Be prepared to talk about your employment history on the interviewer’s terms.
Have you got an interview coming up, or are you still trying to get past the resume phase? Why not take advantage of resources to help you at every step in the process? Contact the Atlanta engineering staffing specialists at Selectek today.