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The #1 Mistake in Interviews

Job seekers often wonder why they can’t crack interviews despite answering all the interviewer’s questions to the best of their capability and with all the experience that they have.

The crux lies in how one answers certain critical questions that can either blow away the interviewer or leave a poor impression. One such question that is quite regularly asked in almost every interview is – “Why are you applying for this role?”

When an interviewer asks this question, candidates are lured into the trap of explaining “their why” on why they should get that role and the benefits that this position would bring to them. A typical candidate would end up talking about what they want the company to be doing investing in them. Do these quips sound familiar?

“I’ve applied for this role because I want to do something I’ve never done before and would like to learn something new”.

“Obtaining this role would mean that I would finally get the opportunity to get trained on skills on which I don’t have much exposure.”

While the above points may be true from the candidate’s perspective, it’s not wise to express what you want in the way cited in the above examples. Every relationship is about giving and taking. The relationship between an employee and employer is similar. When you put forward your experience and skills to enhance the value of the company, the company will invest in you by giving you new opportunities to learn and grow. Therefore, a recruiter would be more interested in knowing how you can uniquely contribute to the organization.

Here’s a tip to answer this question: As a candidate you can avoid talking about what you will gain from the role and what resources you will be using from the company. It’s a given that all benefits will be offered to you when you fulfil the expectations from the job role.

At this point of time in the interview process, you can instead put emphasis on how your experience and skill set will help you perform the role in the best possible way and add value to the company. This is your chance to pitch why you are a good fit for the role. Otherwise, it’s a missed opportunity.

A recruiter would naturally feel inclined to proceed to the next stage interview or hire you when you answer the question in this approach and provide valid points for him to consider. What he is looking for is someone who knows what it takes to be a good fit for the role and possesses the relevant skills.

Therefore, you should sit down and reflect on your experience and skills and prepare for the interview by thinking how you can add value to the company.

Know that the perfect candidate doesn’t sound conceited or smug when expressing how they can add value, nor does he sound desperate to be given a chance to work for the company. Understand the qualities that the organization considers an ideal candidate to have and align your pitch accordingly. It’s vital that you research the organization and understand what problem you can uniquely solve for the company. Putting forward your perspective in this way would definitely help you move forward in the interview process.

Do you have an interview coming up?

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