The interview is such a critical process. Making the greatest impact during the interview determines what happens next. Most interviewers know the moment that you walk in where you stand in the candidacy pool. Staying on the shallow end and keeping your head above water is the best way to land the jobs.
Dress for Success
Dressing the part of the job has often gone to the wayside of many interviewees. In reality, this is the first impression that your interviewer will get of you and how you’re dressed can deeply reflect on you as a potential candidate.
From the moment that you walk through the door, your interviewer is sizing you up. If you’re this far into the door, you have hopefully done some research on the company that you’re working for. You already have an idea of their company culture and how you think you would fit into it. This includes the work place dress code. Dressing down can make you look like somebody who is far too relaxed and doesn’t take themselves or the job seriously. Being over dressed can been seen as a sign of over compensation. If you are genuinely unsure, then always dress sharply but don’t overdo it.
This could possibly be the most critical part of the interview. Your potential employer has your resume in their hand. They can see what your technical attributes are. At this point, you’ve passed the qualifications on paper.
The purpose of the face-to-face interview is to establish your candidacy as an employee. This includes how you handle situations and how you’ll get along. Be calm and relaxed but don’t be aloof. You will be asked a ton of questions. Ask questions back, even if you already know the answer. By being engaging, you will build a repertoire with your interviewer. This will weigh heavy in their interviewer’s mind and will likely have you moved up to the next level of consideration based on this alone.
Don’t Talk Too Much
You’ve established the repertoire with your interviewer but this is their show. There’s an old military saying that goes something like: Loose lips sink ships.
It’s easy to get into a habit of putting your cards all on the table in order to show your worth. In all honesty, this provides a shock to the interviewer and could be detrimental. The interviewer wants to maintain control of the situation and if you begin to dominate the conversation, you can easily find yourself on the “we’ll call you” list. Save the conversation for the right opportunities when they ask for questions.
Also, keep your conversation related to the interview. You will be asked about certain past experiences and while it may be admirable and a challenge for you to run that marathon in which you placed in the top 100 of your age bracket, your interviewer doesn’t really care.
Create a Presentation
An interview is much like a marketing presentation. You are putting a pitch in for your candidacy for why you should be hired. Like any marketing presentation, having a gimmick not only provides a way to present who you are but it does it a manner that is memorable.
Keeping in mind your surroundings and company, providing a formal presentation of who you are and what you can offer the company is an excellent way to find yourself next in line for that position. Don’t go overboard but be creative with it. Include facts and figures and put a little bit of personality behind it.
Treat the interviewer like a customer or client while finding that balance where you are able to present effectively without being an annoyance. If the interviewer doesn’t allow it, then more than likely you were already out of the candidacy pool before you walked in the door.
Close the Deal
When interviewing, this is the greatest mistake that people make. After time has been spent through the interview you and your interviewer should know exactly where you stand. The interviewer surely already has their mind set by the final handshake of the interview whether you advance or not. During that handshake, be direct. Confidence goes a long way. If you think things went well, boldly ask your interviewer where you stand. If not, your answer will make it clear.
Finding a job can be difficult and the odds are far in favor of the competition. You’ve made it past the gauntlet of the human resources screening. The next phase is the interview. Most interviewers already have an idea where you place in the candidacy. By utilizing these tips, you will be presenting yourself as not only the best candidate but the only candidate worth talking to.