It might be hard to believe sometimes, but people who conduct job interviews want you to perform well in them.
However, while they are rooting for you – they’re also rooting for every other candidate they sit down with. Furthermore, interviewers must take a sink-or-swim approach to their interviewees because if they get the hiring process wrong, somebody will come looking for them to find out why they pushed for the hiring of such a bad employee.
The circumstances don’t allow for an interviewer to hold any one candidate’s hand and walk them through the best possible interview performance. There are certain things that interviewers would like you to know, but since they can’t tell you what those things are – we will.
Try to be likeable
While it’s great to come off as professional, driven or intelligent – making those impressions doesn’t matter if the interviewer doesn’t like you.
Your top priority walking into an interview should be making a genuine connection with the person or persons across the table from you. So smile, show an interest in your interviewers as people and keep an upbeat disposition throughout the entire process.
Try to stand out… for the right reasons
Hiring managers go through so many applications and talk to so many candidates, it can be difficult for them to remember which one had the great education or which one worked on the other side of the country.
You can take advantage of this information overload by trying to make yourself memorable. Ideally, you should try to pick out one ‘headline’ from your career and really make sure you drive that home. Or, you could mention something from your personal life. Perhaps you took a trip to Iceland or picked up skydiving as a hobby.
Just be sure you aren’t memorable for the wrong reasons. Don’t walk into the interview with spinach stuck between your teeth or spend half your time complaining about a personal problem.
Come up with good questions
Interviewers want candidates who are enthusiastic about the possibility of working for their company, and a great way to gauge enthusiasm is the quality of questions that an applicant asks.
Perform thorough research on both the job and the company, with the intent of developing good, thoughtful questions. For example, if the work environment is “fast-paced,” you could ask what typical deadlines are like, how often employees currently miss their deadlines and what the consequences are when a deadline is missed.
Come in with ideas
Another focus of your research should be trying to find out how your specific skill set can benefit the company, both in the long and short term. Hiring managers tend to be impressed when you can spell out your value so make it clear when you can do for them.
A word of warning: Avoid being critical of the company and telling your interviewer how you can fix whatever they are doing wrong.
At Action Group, we help job seekers with everything from resume writing to interview prep. Please contact us today to learn about how we can help you take the next step on your career path.