Job interviews should be about more than just you

Nachana Stiven, left, of Hempstead, and Sedaia Tucker,

Nachana Stiven, left, of Hempstead, and Sedaia Tucker, right, also of Hempstead, are shown being interviewed by Salva Spatola and behind her Carletta Cantres, both customer service managers of Stop & Shop. (Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)

Many job seekers go into an interview as sharp, well-read experts -- on themselves. While it's important to display how good a fit you are for the job, if you think that the success of the interview relies on "you" as the most important factor, than you are likely walking out without the job.

Kirk Hallowell, a talent management industry veteran, has seen time and time again that the interview isn't just about you. In fact, you are the second most important aspect in the equation.

Hallowell offers the following tips to avoid focusing too much on yourself during a job interview:


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-- Begin the interview process by understanding the unique reason the company is looking for a leader in the first place. The story begins, not with you, but with a unique need.

-- Approach a job opportunity in the same way a forensic scientist approaches a criminal investigation. Rigorously check out all the clues and information available to put together a meaningful and accurate understanding of the motives and actions.

-- If you were referred for a position by a colleague, network contact, or recruiting professional, remember that your reference most likely has a number of insights about the organization and the opportunity. Tap their expertise to ask what they believe the organization is looking for in hiring this position at this time.

-- Dig deep into the website to understand how the company represents itself to the world and to demonstrate your preparation for the interview.

-- Conduct a simple Internet search on the company name, or division names, with a "news" filter to provide you with a great summary of local, regional, and national stories

-- Familiarize yourself with the significant amounts of financial coverage available on the Internet for publicly traded companies. You should absolutely be familiar with the financial performance of the organization in the last two years and understand any major challenges and opportunities that are impacting revenues and growth.

-- Check with current or previous employees who may be willing to discuss their experiences. LinkedIn.com and Glassdoor.com are two of the most established resources in this area

-- Be disciplined about interview preparation. Make the commitment to spend at least 2 to 3 solid hours doing your research before you start focusing on the second most important aspect of the interview: YOU.

Do what others fail to do!

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