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Interviewing: Present the Evidence!

I had the opportunity to sit on a jury this week. The process is fascinating, the responsibility awesome.

Because (in my mind, at least!) everything always comes back to careers, I couldn’t help but observe how the trial process relates to interviewing for a job. And how we, the jury, had to make our decision based on the facts presented – and just the facts.

Similarly, hiring authorities need to make difficult decisions based on facts they can cull from interviews (as well as from documents, third-party sources, and other resources). They might think that you have a certain talent or assume that you could do a particular job, but in making cold hard hiring decisions they have to rely on more than thoughts and assumptions.

Your job, then, is to give them all the hard information they need to make a wise decision. That means:

  • Being prepared with specific success stories chock-full of facts that are believable and can be verified.
  • Providing third-party support for what you’ve said about yourself. Good examples are endorsements in your LinkedIn profile, written letters of recommendation, and phone calls/emails from mutual contacts to the hiring authority.
  • Sharing work product or other evidence of what you’ve accomplished in the past. Show, don’t just tell!
  • Demonstrating how you work during the interview process. Can you white-board your thought process for handling a relevant challenge? Provide a written plan for your first 90 days on the job?

In the end, we the jury voted “not guilty” because we did not see enough evidence. Don’t let employers vote “no” on your candidacy based on lack of evidence! Give them proof and show what you can do.

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