How to Align Your Experience to a Potential Role During the Interview

When you are preparing yourself for an interview, an important part of the work is finding ways to align your experience to the needs of the role you are applying for. Beyond focusing on your relevant skills and achievements in your resume, you really need to practice talking about your work experience as it relates to your future job. Employers are looking for new hires who understand the issues a company is looking to address by bringing them on board. Be a problem solver. Showcase your value for future employers. Align your experience to your new job to make sure you are able to leave an interview feeling confident that you made a connection. Here are a few tips to help you do your homework before your interview.

1. Do Your Homework

Interview prep generally requires research and collecting background information on a company beyond reviewing the job description. This helps you really make the impression that you don’t just care about getting the job, but about really making a difference for a company in your new role. Research the company and the interviewers if you know who they will be. There is plentiful information available online on both. Understanding key information about a company can help you understand how you would fit into the role. Researching the interviewers shows a little about the type of employees the company has seen value in hiring in the past. Do what you can to think about how your role fits into the overall business and start aligning your experiences to that need.

2. Practice Your Answers

Practicing your answers to common interview questions is one of the best interview prep tips you will read. There are lots of lists of common questions interviewers are likely to ask available on line. Practice your answers with the mindset of solving a puzzle. The puzzle is how can you bring value to a company. The missing pieces are your experience and skills. Identify several key examples of how your past experience and successes would be relevant to this new role. Then practice talking about them in that way. Practice makes perfect, and more importantly, it makes you more confident. So try out some new answers to old interview questions either on a friend or colleague. You’ll be amazed what a difference it can make.

3. Rely on the Job Description

More than anything you’ll see on the company’s website or social pages, the job description is rich in information you need to identify what a company is looking for. Key words are littered throughout job descriptions, and it is crucial for applicants to be well versed in use of those key words. Employers don’t have the time to listen to interviewees who don’t meet their needs in one way or another, so make sure to use those key words in how you describe your experience. This matters because whether you are moving from one job to another or one industry to another, the language can change depending on the role or the company. It’s so helpful to know what language you need to use to succeed in an interview.  The job description will provide you that roadmap.

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