Most, if not all, candidates walk into an interview with a focus on what they can offer an employer. Many times that focus is on the candidate’s own skill-set, but a savvy interviewee should know how to recognize and understand problems that the company may be having.
Here are four tips to observe your way through to a great interview.
- Look for problems online that you can solve – Check out the company’s website and social media sites to identify possible issues and help explain what you can improve while at the company. See something you like? Mention it to the interviewer so they know you’ve researched them.
- Check the lobby – Companies often display their achievements publicly in lobbies and conference rooms. Check to see if they have any awards or accomplishments around the area. Chat with the receptionist about any goings-on in the company that she may be able to share.
- The interviewer’s office – People tend to display things they are proud of in their office. Take a discreet look around and see if any talking points arise. You might have the opportunity to comment on a family photo or sports memorabilia, which will help build rapport with your interviewer.
- Look for problems on site that you can solve – Does your interview include a tour of the office? Take a look around and comment on the things you see. Question and compliment a possible co-worker on their project, or offer your expertise on a half finished assignment.
The best job hunters understand that interviewers are looking for problem solvers. Be observant before, during, and after the interview, and then communicate how you can make a difference.