There are many myths about self-employment that people may start to mistake for fact. Working for yourself can be a great thing, but it doesn’t always mean you’ll be 100% in control of your career and the day-to-day operations.
Often times, you’ll still have to work with others and may even have to please clients if you’re a freelancer.
When you become your own boss, it’s the perfect time to start expanding your skills as opposed to putting them on pause. One skill you still need to master is being able to interview well.
Sure, you’ll be the one giving the interviews most of the time, but you may need to have a formal or informal interview with a client or potential partner occasionally. This is why it’s important to maintain solid interview skills even when you’re self-employed. Here’s what you need to focus on to ensure each interview is successful.
Do Your Research
This goes back to the basics of preparing for an interview. You want to research the person, company, and opportunity thoroughly so you will be ready to answer questions, ask questions, and carry on an intelligent conversation.
The interviewer may expect you to know certain things and may even test your knowledge and you don’t want to be thrown off guard and look unprepared.
It’s also good to do lots of research if you are having an informal meeting with a potential partner or investor that you don’t know too well on a personal level. Having enough knowledge and understanding can help you better communicate what you can bring to the table during the meeting.
Get Familiar With Your Pitch
Professional interviews are all about getting to know the candidate better and that often involves selling your services and abilities to the other person. I find it difficult to explain exactly what I do to others when I am put on the spot.
This is why it’s always good to get clear on your pitch to clearly communicate what you do and how you do it along with who you help, how you help them, and why it’s important.
Your pitch should answer all of those questions without sounding too boastful. You want to highlight your business and some of your success without overdoing it.
Identify Key Strengths and Weaknesses
Questions may arise about your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the opportunity. Be sure to have a few ideas on hand about your qualities along with examples of how you’ve handled certain positions.
When it comes to identifying your weaknesses, it’s always good to find a way to mention a solution to any obstacles or traits you can think of to demonstrate how it doesn’t prevent you from being able to do your job.
Brainstorm a Few Questions
Finally, you want to brainstorm a few questions to ask during the interview. You do this to make sure everything is explaining clearly and to show interest in the opportunity or position in general.
I usually have a hard time thinking of questions to ask during an interview but I don’t want to look like I’m not interested or just lack attention to detail. To solve this, I just take a few minutes beforehand to brainstorm questions or jot some down as they arise during the conversation.
An easy question to ask is about the next steps if it’s not discussed.
Professional interviews aren’t just for employees. Entrepreneurs can get interviewed as well for various different reasons which is why it’s best to maintain your skills in this area.