An interviewer would ask her about say her previous experience applying a certain skill. And she would then answer with how her last employer did not allow her to apply that certain skill (even though she had used it in other jobs) and how she felt stifled in this job as a result.
Unfortunately, her focus was on the wrong place. She was still focused on the negative experience she had before. And any negativity is a huge turn off to a job interviewer. Because, you just look like someone who complains instead of getting the job done.
Others make a different mistake. They end up focusing inwards, and are so aware of their tapping foot or racing heart, that they become far too nervous to perform their best.
Is there a better place to focus? To direct your attention to over and over again, during the interview? And to focus your answers on as well?
Absolutely. Focus on solving the employer’s problems.
An employer is hiring someone because the company needs help. It needs more people to get the work done.
So you want to focus your attention on how you can deliver that help. The types of help they said they needed in the job description. And to really stand, other problems you can uniquely help them to solve.
Yes, it’s important to highlight your skills and accomplishments. Yet, you want to highlight only those skills and accomplishments that help solve this employer’s problems.
Tune your ears up as loud as they can to listen for these problems. Listen carefully, even if it means you might forget that seeming perfect answer. And ask questions throughout, especially if you aren’t sure what exactly are the challenges they face and the goals they wish to accomplish. (Remember an interview should feel like a conversation.)
Then attend to how you can help them solve these problems. Volunteer the solutions that you provide and highlight how you have delivered similar results in the past.
By focusing on finding and solving their problems, you will be less nervous because your attention is focused outward; you won’t feel like you’re bragging because you’re simply trying to solve problems. And you’ll deliver answers that the interviewer wants, a new hire who can help them succeed.
And remember, always express energy and enthusiasm for the job and the company. Companies love hiring positive and enthusiastic people.