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Job Interviewing Tips – Focus On What You Bring to the Table

by Marc Luber

Job interviewing tips are kind of like maps: they may not be fun to read but they help you get where you want to get and they’re good to review until you know how to get where you’re going! I made the video below to help you focus on what you bring to the table at job interviews after some questions came my way at a recent interviewing and salary negotiations panel for the University of Michigan Alumni Association.

Today’s job interviewing tips should leave you with 4 major take-aways:

1) BE CONFIDENT / BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

You should be confident at a job interview simply because you got the interview. Someone saw something in your resume, your online presence or they heard something about you that made them invite you in for an interview. This means you at least have a shot at showing them why you’re the right fit for their needs. If you don’t walk in believing in yourself, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make them believe in you.

2) INTERVIEWING IS ABOUT THE EMPLOYER’S NEEDS

Even though it might feel like the interview is all about you, it’s really about the employer’s needs. The employer has a role to fill at its organization. That role will peform specific tasks for the organization and will therefore require whomever fills it to bring certain skills, talents and abilities to the table. You want to remember to focus your conversation on learning their needs and explaining how you’ve got what they need.

3) FOCUS ON WHAT YOU BRING TO THE TABLE

To focus on how you’ve got what they need, you should talk about the stuff you’re good at that would allow you to kick butt in the role that they need filled. Focusing on your strengths – what you’re good at and bring to the table – will help to get this message across. Do not focus on the parts of the job that are your weaknesses. Don’t even bring them up. Dwelling on what you don’t bring to the table will only hurt you. For all you know, they’ve decided those specific details in the job description aren’t really that important anyway. If they bring up your weaknesses, discuss them (see below) but then return to focusing on what you do bring to the table. After being confronted with this situation in an interview, I’ve been hired after saying, “Look – if you need someone who can come in here and do X, Y and Z then I’m not your guy. But if you want someone who is great at A, B and C, that’s definitely me.”

4) BE HONEST

Be honest about what you bring to the table and what you don’t bring to the table. But stay focused on what you do bring – let them worry about asking you what you don’t bring to the table. If something is that important to them, they’ll ask! And when they do, don’t panic! Just be honest. The fact is that the company invited you in for an interview – if your resume was honest, they should have a good idea of what you bring to the table. They may determine that you’re still worth hiring despite any weaknesses. Maybe it’s a small weakness that you could even fix before you start the job. They may determine that your weakness is too big for them to risk hiring you. If that’s the case, then it’s not meant to be for you to have that job. Remember – you don’t want to be in a job where you’re in over your head, all stressed out and ultimately going to get fired. So be honest and sell them on what you’ve got.

Marc Luber interview tips

What job interviewing tips have helped you confront this situation? Have you remembered to focus on what you bring to the table?

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  • Suzanne Casamento

    This video is great! Marc provides specific interview tools and ties them to real-life examples, really showing why it’s important to forcus on the interview tips above. Bravo! 

  • Thanks for the positive comments Suzanne!

  • Thomas R.

    I have to agree about loving the dating reference.  Good call and nice use of gesture.  More importantly, good job at communicating the right mindset to take into an interview.

  • Ha, it was hard to do that gesture without cracking up!  Thanks for the feedback Thomas.