Strategies for a Great Interview

At Lynx, we’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure you find a great job, and part of that involves using our connections and our influence to give you a boost. That said, there’s no substitute for preparation, and you’ll eventually have to go in for an interview. With that in mind, we’ve prepared some advice for every step of the process.

Perhaps the most important part of the interview is preparation—the interview itself is paramount, of course, but unprepared candidates will have sabotaged their chances before they even walk in the room. One of the easiest things you can do is learn as much about the company as possible by browsing their website and by speaking with your Lynx recruiter. You need to know what the company does, and it’s best if you’re able to build some level of familiarity with their products. If you know who will be interviewing you, look at their LinkedIn profile beforehand to see if you’ve got any common interests or shared connections. Plan on being 5-10 minutes early, and be aware that, for most interviews, dressing in business casual is appropriate, with the exceptions being for client-facing positions or financial services firms—check with your Lynx recruiter if you’re unsure.

Doing research on the company itself and on each person on the interview loop will allow you to target your approach. It’s crucial that you know what the company and your interviewer are looking for, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask what they want during the interview itself. This will give you the knowledge you need to focus on the parts of your experience and qualifications that are directly relevant to the position and the company’s expectations rather than running the risk of talking at length about something that might not necessarily be interesting to your interviewer.

While targeting your discussion toward establishing your background as an excellent fit for the job is very important, equally important—if not more so—is having a plan to address your weaknesses. To that end, it’s vital to review your resume thoroughly—take the time to think in-depth about your qualifications and experience and to prepare to explain it all in a concise manner. This is very important, as qualified candidates are often left at the wayside due to an inability to effectively articulate their qualifications. You should have a similar plan for discussing your weaknesses. For instance, if you lack experience with a particular programming language, you can point to an instance where you’ve quickly grasped another as a way of showing your dedication and your ability to learn quickly. If you lack such an example, it may be best to call attention to a given deficiency and explain how you intend to overcome it. This will be one of the most important parts of the interview, so it’s vital to have a plan to address your shortcomings.

During the interview, it’s important to remember that you’re auditioning for a position—a list of skills on your resume will not get you the job, which is why it’s crucial that you be able to relate those skills to specific projects and concrete tasks, which will make you bigger than your resume in a very real way. In the same vein, while it’s great to express interest in the company, you need to be able to show the company why they should hire you, so don’t devote too much of the interview to your curiosity. That said, it’s a bad idea to come across as cocky—explain your skills and sell yourself, but be modest while you’re doing it, because nobody likes a know-it-all. Similarly, it will be a big turn-off to potential employees if you’re too negative about a past or current situation, so tread carefully.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. This will allow you to learn your interviewer’s potential reservations and address them directly and immediately. Not everyone will be willing to accommodate this request, so don’t be pushy, but at the very least it’s another way of showing that you want the position.

When it’s all over, be sure to contact your Lynx recruiter immediately to debrief and discuss what will happen moving forward. It’s just one of the ways we show our commitment to placing you in a great position.