If you are looking to take the next step in your career, click here for more advice from Musa Tariq.
NEW YORK, United States — Just as workplace dynamics are shifting to account for the impending millennial dominance in the working population by 2020, so too is the process of getting a job.
That’s why BoF has partnered with Musa Tariq for our latest exclusive online course, Build Your Dream Career. Tariq had an impressive career trajectory which saw him appointed chief brand officer of Ford Motor Company aged 35, following senior leadership roles at Nike, Burberry and Apple.
“I want to make sure you are aware of the change in culture and change in time that allows you to be slightly more personal when you're going through interview processes,” Tariq explains. “Interviews are my most favourite part of the job application. It's an opportunity to get to know someone.”
BoF sat down with Tariq, to hear about the “tips and tricks on things that I find useful in interviews” and how to differentiate yourself in a competitive market place. He gave more valuable advice which can be found in his online course here.
What conversations topics are important to prepare for a job interview?
I'm a big fan of people who have done their homework before they come to an interview — not just on the company, but individuals. When you're going for an interview, ask the recruitment team, or HR, for a list of the number of people you're meeting. Spend time doing your homework on each one of these. This is something that's really simple to do, but you would be surprised by how few people tend to do it.
You should also think about the stories you can tell that make you sound different. It may not be relevant to working in fashion, or in advertising, or marketing, but at the same time, when you take that story and talk about what you learned, it just makes you more human. It just gives you a perspective so that person interviewing you thinks, “Right, this is an interesting person, and someone I could get along with.”
As an interviewer, what do you look for especially in your interviewees?
When you are sitting in the hiring position, you are recruiting people that you will have to spend maybe 6 to 12 hours a day with. I need to know I get along with you. I also need to know that you're a right cultural fit and that you are as smart as your resume says you are.
I'm not just interviewing you for what you can do, I'm interviewing you to recognise whether you and I can get along together. The more that you and I relate, the more likely I am to feel you are right for the job, that you're a good cultural fit, and the more likely you are to get the job.
The interview process is also really a way of both them interviewing you, but you interviewing them. If they are not comfortable with the way you behave, the way you talk or the way you dress, then the job is probably not right for you.
In your experience, what interview question are people least prepared for?
The number one question people prepare the least for is: “So tell me about yourself." In all interview processes I want to get to know you, I want to hear about your story, and we tend not to prepare for this question because fundamentally, we think that's the bit that we know the most about.
Trying to craft your story is really important. Trying to think about how you're going to tell that narrative is really important. You are more than just your resume or the number of companies that you've worked at — you have a personality. There are stories that will make you well-rounded as an individual.
What advice would you give applicants for after the interview process?
A guaranteed part, towards the end of any interview, is when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. It happens a lot when people say, “No,” and walk out. This is an incredibly missed opportunity and it either means that that person was not listening, that they are not curious enough or they haven’t prepared for this moment. Think about the questions you are going to ask at the end that will have the interviewer thinking differently.
How should you approach an interview that has gone badly?
A terrible interview is not the end of the world. Chances are, if an interview has gone horribly, it is because you did not mesh with that person. This is actually a positive sign because you have recognised that you and the person do not necessarily get along or do not think the same way. You do not want to take a job where you are not going to get along with that person. It will only end up as a bad thing later on.
People aren't expecting you to be the most perfect candidate for that role. They are looking for someone who is willing to learn because everyone wants people to come into an organisation and learn, and they want you to bring your expertise. It's that combination that most people are looking for in a role