Dorothy- I have an interview coming up. I applied to three positions with the City and am equally qualified for all three. We agreed to conduct one interview for all three positions and then determine which position I am best suited for. How shall I prepare for this interview?
It sounds like there are enough similarities with the 3 positions that you will have to identify the unique elements rather than the commonalities of those. You then need to do an assessment of yourself as it relates to those details. Clearly, they think you are a fit, which is the case usually by the time you get to an interview. For them to think you fit for 3 is a good sign, so let’s look at what they might be looking for. 1- level and depth in the unique areas and 2- your ability to fit in the organization or another way to put that: Do they like you?
To prepare, I would make sure I was clear about the unique elements of the 3 positions and get clear on what I bring to that position. Write down your thoughts and then review those points up to the interview. If you are clear and can articulate what you bring, they will be clear as well. I would also be prepared to answer the question of which one of those you prefer and why? I think they would be swayed by your ability to lead them to the same conclusion.
Aside from that level of preparation, make sure you can not only speak to your resume, but detail out your accomplishments and results – especially if you can quote numbers, like “I beat the quota by 20% for the past 5 quarters”.
To be the kind of person that is likeable, you want to be friendly without being a buddy, ensure you balance the discussion by listening, talking and asking questions. People like people that are interested which are best demonstrated by interest, questions about the position, org or company – AND be enthusiastic about your desire to work for them. Do your homework on the company, org and person if you can so you can demonstrate through your questions that you are well prepared and interested in them. At the end, if you want the job- tell them. Be relaxed without be kicked back. Look people in the eye but don’t stare. Lastly, they are listening for your values. Such things as work ethics, integrity, initiative and willingness tend to be values that most companies place great value on so if you can think of work stories/experience to demonstrate those values at the same time you outline your skills and thinking they will think they hit gold.
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