While large corporations often have a department that does all the interviews, at a small business you’ll likely interview with the owner.
Small business owners often feel overwhelmed and worried when it comes to hiring. In many ways, their decision during a job interview could make or break their company so it’s nerve-wracking.
Additionally, because this is not what they do for a living, they may feel concerned about how to interview or worry about making the wrong decision. They wear a lot of hats and often work well over 80 hours a week. They just want to find that golden needle in the haystack.
A candidate that comes in feeling confident but not cocky, who can speak to how their achievements will benefit the company without humble-bragging and who makes the owner feel at ease has a better than average chance of landing the job.
While the head of HR at a huge company may feel like interviews are all in a day’s work, owners of small businesses often feel like they are hiring someone to help care for their small child. They want someone competent, confident and compassionate.
Competent, confident and compassionate candidates believe in themselves and show these qualities rather than talking them up. They care about others, but aren’t worried about what others think of them. They admit their mistakes easily and take responsibility. When someone else makes a mistake, they empathize and offer a helping hand, not blame. You can see how this would be an ideal employee as well as someone who would be a joy to interview. When I interview someone like this I feel like I’ve hit a goldmine.
The employee I want will say, “I’ve read about your company and the work you’ve started to do in the field of hack-prevention. I worked in a similar capacity with IBM a few years ago, helping them create a system that worked on the principle of entanglement theory to help identify and eliminate hacking.”
First, COOL! My geek self is excited to learn more about that. And second, they’ve identified an issue I hadn’t yet vocalized to them but is something I’m not only passionate about but also need help with. They learned that we’re beginning to explore that arena by reading about us online. Finally, it sounds like they genuinely want to help our company and they have the experience to do that.
Prior to your interview with a small business, consider the ways that you can demonstrate your competence, exude confidence and express compassion and you’ll be more likely to get a call back.