We recently hosted our first ever Swyg Interview Challenge. A collaborative interview event amongst peers to find out what good interviews look like on both sides of the table.
This event allowed interviewees to demonstrate their current techniques while learning from others. Why did we do it? We wanted to find examples of what ‘good interviews’ actually look like!
We’ve created this blog post to help you understand what good interviews look like and how you could put into practice some of these tips to improve your own interview technique.
Here are 3 takeaways from the challenge that will help you improve your own interviewing
First of all, at Swyg we know competency based interviews have the best validity when it comes to predicting future performance. What that means is we look for expertise. So first and foremost, you need to have the expertise. It’s hard to fake that.
The best interviewing tip is to become more of an expert in your field. Read books, listen to podcasts, learn by doing. And then share your experience and understanding in interviews.
Tip #1 - Demonstrate expertise by giving context to your answers
This is about demonstrating that you understand why the interviewer is asking this specific question and where it fits in. For example to the question “How do you ensure that you reach your quarterly sales goals?” Don't just list a few things you would do. Instead start by explaining what factors impact your ability to reach your goals. For example, your understanding of the sales cycle and conversion rates. Then go into specific examples of how you’ve done this in the past.
Take a look below at how Glenville responds to a question. He’s being asked “how do you target a specific person” but he recognises that he needs to fully understand the product to be able to look and try and understand which people are right for that product.
As it’s also important to highlight experiences that you have had in the past, we wanted to also share this snippet from Daniel’s interview where he takes a question regarding establishing credibility and highlights examples specific to him and his previous experience.
Tip #2 - Explain *why* you think your answer is the right one.
Don’t just regurgitate knowledge but also demonstrate understanding.
This tip is about listening and understanding. It’s about going into further detail once you’ve been asked the initial question. Don’t just say what you know, prove that you understand. One way to do this is to take the question and relate it back to an experience that you’ve had.
We’ve got a great example of this below. Daniel has been asked a question about selling SaaS products to non-technical people. Daniel listens and allows the interviewer to know that he has understood the question by thinking of a selection of questions to ask the prospective customer. He then confirms his understanding by relating it back to the experiences that he has had within the legal industry and switches it back to hotels/hospitality as he comes to a conclusion with his answer.
If you happen to not have personal experience for a specific question, refer to an article or book you’ve read or provide your own reasoning.
Tip #3 - Express yourself clearly and confidently and confirm the interviewer understands your answer
This is about confirming that you’ve answered the question being asked. Sometimes, questions can be confusing and it’s definitely ok to double-check with the interviewer that you are going down the right path with your answer.
Adapt your answer to the listener. If you’re speaking to someone who is not an expert in your field (you’re an account executive speaking to a recruiter) avoid all types of jargon. Try to speak in words that everyone can understand and don’t be afraid to ask whether the interviewer has understood everything you’re trying to say.
And our top tip for interviewing remotely
Technology (especially internet connections) can suck, be patient and adapt!
We also wanted to share this video because it shows a real ability to adapt to troublesome internet connections. Notice how both Priyanka and Lysette recognise fairly early-on that there are connectivity issues. Priyanka decides to slow down, speak incredibly clearly and remain patient. Lysette also adapts very well, once she’s able to fully digest the question, she also checks with the interviewer that they can still hear. This interview was able to proceed in a swift manner thanks to these core skills from both participants.