Receiving a call up for an interview is a major milestone in your quest to secure that dream job. The hiring manager went through dozens or hundreds of resumes before settling on the candidates they considered the most promising ones. That shortlist included you. Yay!
Yet, an interview invitation, by no means, implies you have secured the position. Rather, the recruiter has been unable to decide which of the shortlisted candidates is best. The face-to-face interaction is meant to be the tie-breaker. Irrespective of how the ultimate resume maker found on ResumeBuild.com helped accentuate your remarkable achievements, your interview will make or break your prospects.
You can prevent a disaster by ensuring you are the stand-out interviewee. Here’s how.
Research the Company
Think about how two complete strangers strike up a conversation. They are more likely to have a lively discussion if they have some shared experiences and knowledge. If you want to establish an emotional connection with the panel from the get-go, start by demonstrating knowledge in something they are deeply familiar with—the company they work for.
Research the company’s history, milestones, ethos, culture, reach, major customers and future plans. Your ability to hold a conversation on the company would show your enthusiasm for the role.
Dress the Part
You are right to assume your skills and capabilities should be the thing interviewers focus on and not what you wear. Unfortunately, your attire is a big part of first impressions and if you aren’t dressing the part, you start the interview with a disadvantage.
Dressing the part doesn’t mean putting on the most expensive suit in your closet. Remember, you are looking to be appropriate, not spectacular. Many organizations have dropped formal wear and encourage their employees to work in jeans and t-shirts. To avoid making presumptions, find out about their dress code and dress accordingly. It shows you want to be part of the team.
Humans love stories. It’s the foundation of the multi-trillion-dollar entertainment industry. A statement of fact won’t draw as much interest as something explained through an interesting story.
Leverage anecdotal, real-life scenarios when responding to questions on your achievements, abilities, and weaknesses. If you can inject some humor in one or two of your examples, even better. Just don’t go overboard and try to make everything you say funny. The interviewer won’t take you seriously.
Stories will keep the panel interested and keen on engaging you further. In any case, it points to your ability to break down and communicate difficult concepts.
Maintain Eye Contact
Eye contact denotes confidence, truthfulness, transparency, concentration, and enthusiasm. When you look interviewers in the eye throughout your conversations, you demonstrate your interest in what they have to say. It also shows you know the value of what you bring on board if hired. It makes people more trusting of you.
On the other hand, shifty eyes, looking down or looking away, is, at best, a sign of low self-confidence and, at worst, indicative of dishonesty or deceit.
Maintain a Good Sitting Posture
What you say during the interview is important. However, interviewers will be closely watching the context within which you say it. Your body language will be given more weight than your impressive oral pronouncements. No one would consider you enthusiastic for the job if you yawn every two minutes.
Pay attention to your sitting posture. Sit upright. Do not slouch in your seat before, during or after the interview. Don’t fiddle or tap your hands or feet. It’s only natural that your body will want to adopt the sitting posture you are used to. Therefore, practice the posture days or weeks before the interview. Better yet, make proper posture part of your everyday routine. It’s good for your health.
End on a High Note
The interview is now over. Don’t just rush out. How you end it is just as important as how you start it. Let the interviewers know that you are excited about the job and cannot wait to start, if they do eventually settle on you as the most suitable candidate.
If this hasn’t already been said, enquire about what the next stage of the hiring process is, as well as when and how you can expect to receive communication regarding their decision.
Apply these tips and you’ll be in prime position to be the one eventually selected for the job.