The Successful Job Interview

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Successful Job Interviews

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You have spent all that time defining what you are and where you want to go, checking this with your personal stakeholders, and marketing yourself. There will come a time when you are invited to the job interview. There are some secrets to the successful job interview, and there are also good practices that will increase your chances for success. This section deals primarily with preparation and fundamental interview techniques. The next section provides you with some ‘black-belt’ techniques for ensuring success.

Please remember that the job interview is just a game. Like any game play, there are rules that you should abide by, and there are rules that you can use to your favour. In this part of the site, we hope to show you some of these rules, and how they can benefit you. We want you to hold some of the cards, and not simply let the interviewer hold them all.

Job Interview – Just a Game

The job interview is a game between two parties with differing personalities/values, needs, understanding of the role requirements, and background knowledge. How can you ensure your success in such a complex game?

Interviewers tend to interview applicants on a weekly or monthly basis (or, more often if it is their role). And job interviews are imperfect games. The trouble is that most applicants hold less cards than the interviewer in this game and do not know all the rules.

The Successful Job interview – the Way to Think

If I want to find someone with a red car (for whatever strange reason). I go up to a person, and ask them if they have a red car. They say that their car is blue. I then have choices. I can give up and repeat in my mind, “I will never find someone with a red car”, and just give up. Or, I can say, “Well, they did not have a red car which means, by the law of averages, I am getting closer to someone who does have a red car”. Instead of de-motivating, this will motivate knowing you are getting closer. I know, after all, it is just a numbers game and 1 in 9 people have a red car. It is exactly the same with the whole game of CV’s and the job interview. Sometimes, it is the first person you ask. Other times it takes longer and two of them come at once. You have to take action to do the numbers!

The numbers also reduce, the more you understand the games rules and the more cards you have. This is exactly what this part of the site aims to do – give you the rules and put some cards in your hand.

Below you will find why we view a job interview as a game.

The Science Behind the Job Interview

In this sense, job interview validity is measured on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0 (the latter being highest). For our purposes, validity of 1.0 means that my assessment from interview provided the perfect prediction of how the person interviewed actually performed in the work situation: what I saw in interview was exactly the same as what they were like in work.

You will note from the table below just how invalid the common interview actually is.

Theoretical Validity Actual
Perfect Prediction 1.0  
Practical Ceiling 0.75 Structured Interview
  0.5  
  Panel Interviews
  0.25  
    All Interviews
Chance Prediction 0.0  

What this Means for being a Successful Interviewee

There is no perfect predictor for knowing if someone will be successful in a role. Most interviews fail to measure candidate. Rather, the results are often based on interaction, feelings of comfort, and the rapport built up by the interviewer and interviewee. And this is exactly why we term it as a game. Think about this:

Most interviews fail to measure candidate. Rather, the results are often based on interaction, feelings of comfort, and the rapport built up by the interviewer and interviewee. And this is exactly why we term it as a game.
  • We have all seen the person at work who seems to look right, talks to the right people, says all the right things, but never really seems to actually do anything that adds value. Yet they get promoted.
  • We all know the person who produces great stuff day after day, but keeps there head down and rarely gets noticed and finds it hard to get the promotion.

It is exactly the same thing as the interview game. Follow our advice and you will have far more chance of prospering in this game of interviewing.

If you are following a path, you may wish to move on to the types of interviews.

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