Your CV gets you the interview and the interview gets you the job!
Interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking, you may feel intimidated, you may look around the room at all other applicants and have imposter syndrome sneak in. This does not have to be the case.
“39% of the candidates get rejected due to overall confidence level, voice quality, or lack of smile.”(Editor’s Pick)
With the right preparation, mindset, and personal development work, you can fine-tune your interview skills to land the job no matter the industry.
In this blog, we are going to share crucial information for you to work on to ensure successful interviews from here on out.
First impressions are crucial. This comes down to how you dress, how you act, and how prepared you are.
What is it that the hiring managers, employers, and recruiters are looking for in a candidate?
The main skill is profound people skills or social skills as some may call them.
It is not personality, it’s the ability to work and communicate with people. You can have a kick-ass resume but if your people skills are bad, you will not get the job. This skill will overcome all other skills.
The marketplace pays for value even if you don’t have the experience needed.
“33% of hiring managers knew whether they would hire someone in the first 90 seconds of the interview.” (Twin Employment and Training)
How can we accomplish this?
Here are some tips:
When you are waiting for your interview to start, there should be no phone in sight and no fidgeting. If you happen to be waiting for an in-person interview, see if there are some employees around that you can get to know, become friends and find out vital information about what it is like to work for that company. Research shows how invested you are and by doing this you can get a very good feel for the company.
Now, when the interviewer comes out to greet you, online or offline make sure you maintain firm eye contact, smile, and give a firm handshake. Straight off the mark start asking the interviewer questions, create a conversation, and continue to get as much information as possible from that person.
Here is how:
- Introduce yourself and ask them how their day is going
- Thank them for taking the time to see you even though you are fully aware that they are busy and must have plenty of people to interview. Start getting them to talk about themselves.
- Ask them how long have they worked there
- Are they from around here, if not why did they relocate?
When you do this you are killing your nervousness by controlling the conversation, you are not thinking and you are not panicking. What you are doing is finding out valuable information and showing the hiring manager the type of social skills you possess.
Before the interview starts, say to the hiring manager, that you would like to ask a couple of quick questions as you have a few interviews lined up and you would like to see if you will be the right fit for a company and if the company would be the right fit for you.
The questions you should be asking are:
- What do you like about working in the company?
- What do you not like?
- How long have you been here?
- What is the work environment like?
- What type of person excels here in this type of work environment?
- What are the company’s goals and do they have the ability to achieve those goals?
- How has the economy affected the company?
- The last person who filled this position, what would you say were the biggest mistakes that person made, what were their highlighted moments?
- Is this a friendly environment of strictly business and strictly professional? What do you look for when you are hiring people for the company?
To get a feeling of the company morale you could ask if some of the employees are friends with each other.
When you do all of these things, you are turning the tables and becoming the interviewer yourself. You are showing that you are smart by asking really important questions that many will not in an interview as they are crippled with fear.
Preparation for your interview is key!!!
Never walk into the interview with a mindset of what the company can give you. The most important mindset to have is the mindset of what can I do to help the company grow. What value can I add? The interviewer wants to know how you will serve the company. On top of that, you must always remember to bring along a notepad and a pen to every single interview, and most importantly, USE IT! This shows diligence and that you are not overconfident.
Not only should you prepare and research for the role, the company, and how you want to present yourself, but you should also prepare for the difficult questions that will come your way. By preparing, you eliminate the need to lie and cover things up.
Pre-plan questions that the company may ask you, and always come back with something positive at the end of a negative such as; It was such a good learning experience.
Remember that the hiring managers, recruiters, and employers are human too, no one is perfect. When you are asked about weaknesses what they really want to know is what you are doing to work on them, not that you shouldn’t have any.
These are the type of questions you may be asked in the interview:
- How do you deal with conflict?
- Name the biggest failure (again end positive, what did you take away from it and what have you learnt)
- How do you personally define success?
Let yourself shine no matter if you have previous experience or not, be authentic, and be hungry. Show the hiring manager that even though you may not have the right experience, you want to learn, you will follow directions, you will train and you will bring in the results.
It is easier for us to name the tasks that we carried out in our previous roles, but really all the interviewer wants to know are the results you achieved and the value that you brought to the company. Not taking the time to list and fully understand the impact you have made previously can really be a deal breaker.
Practice makes perfect, yes you want to be asking questions, for yourself as much as for the impression you will make, but, remember to be mindful not to interrupt. This comes across as rude and pushy and in some ways shows that you may not be good at following directions. Taking the time to plan, prepare and practice for an interview is a no-brainer. You are selling yourself, without proper attention how can you do that efficiently to get the results you want?
“According to job interview trends, 57% of applicants underestimate the importance of a thank-you note following an interview.” (CareerBuilder)
The interview is done, but really it should never end there. At the end of the interview, ask if it is possible to stay in touch, no matter the answer always send a thank you email. Why? It costs a company a great deal to hire physically and financially, being mindful of the time they have taken to see you and showing appreciation for that will go a long way. Even if you may not get the role this time around, you have formed a respectful relationship for future encounters.
Put this to the test and let us know how you get on!