Got a job interview coming up? Of course you’ll research the organization you’re interviewing with and probably find a bio of your interviewer. But, according to senior Forbes contributor Mike Murphy, job interviewees often make one serious omission: They fail to come prepared with highly detailed experiences from the past few years of their career.
When it comes to team or leadership experiences, you should be armed with specific details around moments of overcoming challenges, and of learning and growing. According to Hiring for Attitude Research, great candidates tend to give longer answers with more nitty-gritty details than lesser candidates. (Conversely, in the study Words That Cost You The Job Interview, it was discovered that low-performing candidates used 40 percent more vague adverbs ("very," "really," and "quickly") than their higher-performing peers.
“You don't want to be the candidate that spews trite clichés,” writes Murphy. “It’s far better to wow the interviewer with great specifics about your past experiences.” To that end, start with some deep reflection about your past experiences. Identify the types of skills you'll need to have for this potential new job, and consider what you have done to prove you have those skills.
Try not to exaggerate, says Murphy, “Puffery is pretty easy to spot…the fastest way to spot a liar is to listen for people who won't give direct and specific answers to your questions. If your interview responses don't contain enough specifics to convey your firsthand experience with an issue, your answers can end up sounding like they came from a book.”
What kinds of specifics did you offer in your last job interview, and did they help land you the position? If you are an interviewer, have you noticed that specifics made a difference in your opinion of a candidate? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
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