There are typically three questions that must be answered at any interview. Savvy candidates consider their responses carefully.
1. Is this person competent for the position?
2. Is this person like us – will he or she fit in here?
3. Will this person stay with us?
Competent for the position
The interviewer is obviously looking for a technically qualified person that can do the job. But he looks only as far as he must in this direction. If you are interviewing for a Process Engineering position, that should be your focus. It will not do any good to dwell on what a marvelous supervisor you could be. The employer looks for someone who can and wants to do what he needs done. Appearing overqualified is just as bad as appearing under qualified. Job offers are usually made because of something other than just your qualifications. You get the offer by selling yourself and your attitudes. The employer is looking for optimistic statements and positive reactions to his questions. Pessimism and negativism never won a job offer. Enthusiasm counts!
Is this person like us?
The employer looks for someone who likes the employer and what the employer does. If you like the employer’s products, the people he has already hired, the location of the office, or any other item related to the position in question, do not be afraid to say so, with enthusiasm. It is up to you to let the employer know about your interest.
Will this person stay with us?
The interviewer will be looking, either consciously or subconsciously, for someone who indicates he will stay with the company. The problem with making the proper impression in this important area is that interviewers seldom ask direct questions about longevity. Instead, the interviewer will ask: “Why are you looking for another position?” or he may ask “What are you looking for in a position?” You might stress you are looking for a company that can offer new challenges and long-term career growth. Referencing ‘a place to retire’ is not a good idea.