Don’t make this mistake in your job interview

It’s not about you

Recently I was coaching an international client for an upcoming interview with a global technology company. We were working on the common questions and when asked why she was interested in the company, she responded “because it will give me a lot of chance to grow my career, and I think the professionals at this firm can help me a lot.”

*record scratch

Unfortunately, I hear this sort of reply far too often. Let me explain why this approach is not going to help you land the offer.

First of all, the interviewer knows that you want to grow your career. And they know that in all likelihood, you’re going to benefit from the experience you gain at their company. And in particular, if it’s a FAANG company, having them on your resume is going to be a huge asset for you going forward.

So you’re not telling them anything they don’t know. You’re not adding any value, and in fact you’re wasting a great opportunity to make them want to pick you.

It’s about them

Second and more importantly, the interview is not about you. It’s about them. It’s about their company and how you’re going to help make them better, stronger, faster, etc. You might object that “I’m in the interview – it’s about me and how I can benefit!” Nope. The interview is about the company and how they will benefit from having you onboard.

Your job in the discussion is to show them what a great asset you will be. It’s to convince them that you will bring them more business value than any other candidate.

What that business value can look like will vary. You need to do your research and suss out the deeper insights about the company and what they’re looking for. But in all cases, you need to show them how their bottom line will benefit from having you around. It’s not about your success – it’s about theirs.

So do your research and start thinking like the hiring manager. What do they need? What do they want? Answering these questions on a deep level will help you gear your responses to those concerns. Once you position yourself as the perfect solution to whatever ails them currently, you’ll be on the inside track. Otherwise you might find yourself wondering why you keep getting those rejection emails!

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