Understanding the Mind of Your Interviewer

Posted by Nicole Williams on 30 August 2016

As an essential part of the job hunt, interviews are supposed to be the perfect time to put your best foot forward and show off your skills. In reality, they are usually where you find yourself most on edge.As the nerves set in, it becomes easy to be distracted the the interviewer’s notes and to wonder what on earth they could be writing, but in all honesty, the secret to interview success is more than just to keep your cool.

To make the best impression, it i helpful to understand what the interviewer is actually looking for in a candidate. With that in mind, here are three questions every interviewer is thinking about whilst you sit opposite them.

Would you fit in here?

The interviewer will be trying to picture you in the role, working alongside the team and considering how well you will mesh with them. Showing your personality is essential here as it gives the interviewer a true idea of who you really are.

On interview day, spend a few minutes observing the atmosphere. Are the offices buzzing with noise or is it mostly silent with the ocassional phone conversation? Are people wandering back and forth or does no one move from their desk? Also assess how your interviewer is coming across; do they seem laidback and conversational or is it more of a formal interview? Aim to mirror this with your answers.

Do you match up to your CV?

Until this point, the interviewer is already thinking you’ll be a great match for the role, otherwise they wouldn’t be interviewing you. What you need to do now is show evidence that what you say in your CV is true and that you are the person they are expecting.

Ahead of the interview, run back through your CV and double check the points you’ve made, making sure to have examples of these skills and experiences stored in your memory. This will make it easier to focus on applying these skills to the current job, as you’ll already have the evidence ready to go.

Have you got what it takes?

Your interviewer wants to know how you understand the nature of the role and what you expect to face. At the interview, share your knowledge from researching similar roles and apply it to examples from your own experience. For example, perhaps the job requires long or unsociable hours or requires a large amount of solitary work. Relate this to a time where you were in a similar situation and help the interviewer to understand that you can cope with this situation.

The interviewer will also be using their time to work out how long they think you might stay around for. They don’t want to spend time training and helping you to fill in, only for you to quit after a month of two. If you have a history of job hopping which may draw negative conclusions, make sure to explain why this job is different and how you won’t be doing that there.