Once your resume has made it through the gauntlet of the application process and you've secured an interview, it's time to prepare yourself mentally for the interview. You might be thinking:
Will I like the job?
How much does it pay?
Are the benefits good?
Can I work at home once a week?
Will I get along with my colleagues?
Can I eventually get promoted?
But consider the common thread of these questions. It's all about you getting what you need from the job. Of course! We work to meet our needs and provide for our lives. But what secures you the job is the opposite; you must convince the hiring team that you'll meet their needs. You need to change your mindset.
Shifting your thinking from getting what you want out of an interview to helping the company achieve its goals will put you into a value-add mindset. Here's why that helps you in an interview:
It sets a positive tone. Approaching your interview with the intention of filling a need or solving a problem will launch a productive conversation. You'll obviously answer interview questions about yourself and your career, but be sure to show equal interest in learning about the employer. Be curious about their challenges and the dialogue will flow more naturally.
It reduces pressure. Thinking about how to sell yourself can create anxiety before an interview. Instead, consider "How can I help this manager, department and company achieve their goals?" Shifting your focus to the employer will ease the pressure to sell; you will be focused on learning about the company and the interviewer, and you'll be less likely to come across as self-serving or self-promoting.
Your questions and answers will be insightful. Adding value is possible only when you understand where it's needed. To that end, your questions will lead you to the company's biggest challenges. Once you understand those, you can customize your responses to meet the company's specific needs, and provide spot-on examples of how your skills and expertise can make an impact.
It gives you more leverage when negotiating. If you put the spotlight on the company's needs throughout the interview process, you will have greater leverage when it's time to discuss an offer. Once the hiring team makes an offer, they've made an emotional connection to you. They can envision you in the job, and they'll be motivated to close the deal with you. At that point, you are in a much better position to negotiate a higher salary, flextime, or another consideration that's important to you.
It will help you decide if the job is the right fit for you. In the end, the job interview is a two-way street; while the company must be interested in hiring you, it's equally important that you feel great about the opportunity. By understanding fully what the company's needs are, you'll become acutely aware of whether you can be successful and happy in the role.
It's simple. A job interview is not solely about you; the company needs a solution to a problem. By putting yourself in a value-add mindset for your interview, you can convince them that the solution is to hire you.