Think Beyond the Interview

When going in for an interview, it’s easy to think in the short-term: I need a job. I need a second interview. I need to not talk too much. I need to impress. 

 But the best prospective employees are thinking more long-term than that. They’re thinking about the company. They’re thinking about the company’s needs and the responsibilities of this hiring manager to make that company more efficient; more successful. They’re thinking about how they can make the company more efficient and successful. 

As a company, there are a few things we’ve learned from interviews. These principles aren’t always true,but they give our managers some general guidelines as they talk to prospective employees. 

  1. Good interviews don’t always bring in good employees.

    This principle is something every hiring manager learns at some point. Just like you can’t always measure a student based on how they perform on tests, so you can’t always measure employees based on how they interview. Sometimes bad interviews come because of bad mornings or car problems or a series of crushing defeats in the job search process. So that’s why people need to think beyond than the interview. The employees we hire are people we feel we got to know in the interview; not necessarily people who simply impressed us.
  2. Our ideal employee is currently working somewhere else. 

    This doesn’t mean that somebody can’t be needing a job when they come to interview. It just means that desperation is a tricky motivator. We don’t want somebody to accept a job offer from us because they’re desperate. Believe it or not, we’ve heard statements like “I’ll take just about anything” in the course of an interview. Statements like “I just need a job” may be the reality of where someone’s at, but it causes some awkwardness in an interview. If desperation is the motivator, it’s hard to trust the candidate to really be honest about their fit with our company. So be thinking about what you’re communicating. 
  3. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” 

    As interviewers, we can tell the difference between someone who is making something up as they go along and someone who is speaking authentically. If you don’t have a good answer, or if you don’t know an industry term that the interviewer uses, you should clarify. Sometimes you can get away with saying, “What do you mean?” when asked a question that has stumped you. The interviewer may rephrase in a way that works for you. If that doesn’t work, you’re much better off saying, “I honestly don’t have a good answer to that question.” than trying to navigate through something you’re making up. Honesty and authenticity in conversation communicate more than smooth talking or a refusal to be stumped. 


As you go about the job search process, remember that interviews aren’t necessarily a chance to impress. They’re a chance to communicate. You're in a unique position to tell a company exactly who you are and how you can help that manager, and the company, be more successful. 

At Viking Client Services, we are committed to people and committed to good. We want to see people find good jobs and do good work. And we want to help them do that. Stay in touch with Viking Client Services for more tips and support as you work to become the best employee possible. You can find out about opportunities to work for Viking Client Services by clicking here

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