Landing an interview is becoming more and more difficult. In addition to possessing the right experience, organizations are now leveraging artificial intelligence, soft skill assessments, and job auditions to determine whether or not you're a good "fit" for the position.
When you finally do land that onsite interview, you'll need to be on your game and address a few unspoken concerns if you're going to advance through the rest of the process. Here are six questions interviewers have, but won't directly ask you.
1. Are you likable and easy to work with?
I've seen qualified candidates miss out on great jobs because they come across as being too arrogant, too demeaning, or too cold. One of the best interviewing skills is the ability to read your audience, feel out the environment, and tailor your responses to fit the culture and situation. Be honest, be authentic, and meet your audience where they are. Adjusting your style shows adaptability and relatability.
Remember that everyone in the interview is determining whether or not they could see themselves working with you every single day. Be personable, be mentally present by listening and engaging in the conversation, and be compassionate. And, don't be afraid to be authentic -- people can tell when you're not.
2. Are you really interested in the job?
You'd be surprised how far a little enthusiasm can go. You can demonstrate your interest level by preparing for the interview, studying up on the company, researching interviewers' profiles on LinkedIn, and preparing questions that show you've taken this seriously.
A big mistake candidates make is believing that they hold all the leverage. There are many fish in the sea, and potential employers want candidates who have a genuine interest in their company and an emotional/passionate connection to the work. The only way you'll be able to connect the emotional dots is if you ask great discovery questions and uncover what's it's like to actually work for that employer.
3. Are there any underlying issues?
Make sure to remain positive and composed at all times throughout the interview. Remember, an employer expects you to be on your best behavior. So, if there is even a shred of confusion, doubt, or concern about your character, then they anticipate it amplifying once you start.
If you sense any doubts, then it's important to address them during the interview. Although it's a little aggressive for my taste, asking if there are any hesitations regarding your candidacy can be a good tactic.
4. Can you really do what you say you can?
A resume is one thing, but fully prepared examples of previous accomplishments is another. Take the time to prepare detailed examples that prove your expertise.
When I used to coach my candidates, I'd prep them with the "STAR" technique. When describing your experience, provide detailed information on the situation, the task at hand, actions taken, and the results achieved. This model keeps you on point (without rambling) while also providing enough evidence to support the claims on your resume.
The less you can make the decision to hire you feel like a "gamble," the more confidence recruiters and hiring managers will have in vouching for you.
5. What was the real reason for your job transitions?
If you have multiple jobs on your resume, then the thoughts of a "job hopper" will cross peoples' minds. Mitigate the doubts by having answers prepared and, even better, references from each company that can back up your story.
Stuff happens. But, if you can't articulate it a way that's rational, then you'll have a hard time convincing interviewers that there's not a hidden (negative) pattern.
6. Will you stay?
This is almost impossible to determine and even harder to convince people of. You can alleviate some worry by clarifying your motivation for looking, the type of culture you're looking for, and detailing the management style you thrive under.
Recruiters and hiring managers want to make sure that you're not chasing "shiny objects" and are committed to starting a career -- not just another job.
Although interviewers are asking a multitude of different questions, many of them are in efforts to address, investigate, and mitigate any unspoken apprehensions. Focusing on addressing these six concerns will help you ace your next interview.